US Is Expected To Allow India Keep Importing Iranian Crude

THERE is heartening news from the Trump administration that it will allow India and seven other countries including Japan and South Korea continue to import crude oil from Iran after imposing sanctions on the west Asian nation on November 5. Iran is among the three major crude oil suppliers of India the other two being Saudi Arabia and Iraq. New Delhi has succeeded in convincing The White House about the necessity of importing crude from Iran. Citing a senior official, The Indian Express says while the Trump administration’s goal remains to choke off revenue to Iran’s economy, waivers are being granted in exchange for continued import cuts so as not to drive up oil prices. China, the leading importer of Iranian oil,is still in discussions with the US on terms, but is among the eight, according to two people familiar with the discussions who also asked not to be identified. The other four countries that will get waivers weren’t identified. The administration must maintain a delicate balancing act with the waivers: ensuring the oil market has sufficient supply and avoiding a politically damaging spike in fuel prices, while also ensuring that Iran’s government doesn’t collect enough revenue that the US sanctions become irrelevant. Global benchmark Brent crude has fallen about 15 percent from over $85 a barrel last month on increasing speculation that at least some nations will get waivers, as well as signs that other OPEC members will pump more to offset any supply gap. Oil futures were at $73.04 a barrel at 7:12 am in London on Friday. The waivers are only temporary, and the U.S. will expect countries that get them to keep cutting Iranian imports in the months ahead, according to the US administration official, who declined to give details on the volume of oil the nations will be allowed to buy under the exemptions. New Delhi, meanwhile,  is waiting for official announcement.(pic courtesy India Today)

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