On April 22nd, the White House announced US President Donald Trump’s efforts to undertake action to cut down Iranian oil exports down to zero.
“Iran’s leaders plunder the nation’s resources to enrich themselves and to spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond,” the White House statement claimed.
To that end he announced that Significant Reduction Exceptions (SREs) (waivers from the sanctions on Iran’s oil exports) will not be renewed when they expire on May 2nd.
Currently eight countries are exempt from sanctions for importing Iranian oil: China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey. Iraq is also exempt from sanctions, but the waiver was renewed for 90 days on March 20th and will continue past May 2nd.
On the day, the price of oil jumped to its highest price since November 1st.
Regardless, the White House statement also claims that the US, Saudi Arabia and the UAE will make up for the lack of approximately 1 million barrels per day.
“The United States, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, three of the world’s great energy producers, are working to ensure global oil markets remain well supplied.
The United States and its partners will take immediate action to ensure that supplies are made available to replace all Iranian oil removed from the market.
Forecasters expect global oil supply will keep pace with demand in 2019.”
As part of the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” policy on Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was designated as a terrorist organization.
As a success the White House describes the following: “as a result of the Administration’s actions, Iran’s currency has lost more than two-thirds of its value on the black market.
Foreign direct investment and business activity in Iran have fallen off as the private sector realizes the risk of doing business with Iran.
More than 100 companies decided to cease doing business there.”
Donald Trump also alleged that former US Secretary of State John Kerry had broken the law by speaking to Iranian officials, on top of that he had “given them very bad advice.”
Saudi Arabia and others in OPEC will more than make up the Oil Flow difference in our now Full Sanctions on Iranian Oil. Iran is being given VERY BAD advice by @JohnKerry and people who helped him lead the U.S. into the very bad Iran Nuclear Deal. Big violation of Logan Act?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 22, 2019
The Logan Act is an obscure law that bans private citizens from negotiating with foreign governments without permission from the U.S.
Violating the Logan Act, which became law in 1799, is a felony. But only two people have been charged with violating it, the last in 1852, and no one has ever been convicted.
In response, Iranian General Alireza Tangsiri, commander of the IRGC’s Navy said that if Iran could not use the Strait of Hormuz to export oil, then it had the right to close it.
“According to international law, the Strait of Hormuz is a marine passageway and if we are barred from using it, we will shut it down.”
“In case of any threat, we will have not even an iota of doubt to protect and defend the Iranian waters,” Tangsiri said.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a statement, condemning the US decision, but saying that it ultimately doesn’t matter.
“Since the sanctions in question are principally illegal, the Islamic Republic of Iran did not and does not attach any value or credibility to the waivers given to the sanctions.
Considering the negative impacts these sanctions have in practice and the possibility of further intensification of these negative impacts following the US refusal to renew the waivers, the Iranian foreign ministry today has been constantly in touch with all relevant institutions inside the country while holding intensive talks with many of its foreign partners including the Europeans, the neighbours, and other countries in the world.
“The result of these contacts and consultations with Iranian and foreign officials has been reported to the highest decision-making authorities, and an appropriate decision on the issue will soon be taken and made public,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif commented on the US announcement, saying it shows the “panic & desperation of US regime.”
Escalating #EconomicTERRORISM against Iranians exposes panic & desperation of US regime—and chronic failures of its client co-conspirators.
REAL news, @realdonaldtrump: Inheritors of ancient Persian civilization don't base strategy on "advice" of foreigners—let alone Americans.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) April 23, 2019
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu commented on the US decision, saying that it would not contribute to regional peace and stability, but will only harm the Iranian people.
The #US decision to end sanctions waivers on #Iran oil imports will not serve regional peace and stability, yet will harm Iranian people. #Turkey rejects unilateral sanctions and impositions on how to conduct relations with neighbors. @StateDept @SecPompeo
— Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) April 22, 2019
The secretary general of the Lebanese Hezbollah Seyed Hassan Nasrallah denounced the US decision, saying that the sanctions against Iran “amount to aggression against the entire world.”
“US efforts to increase economic pressure on Iran, especially its pledge to drive the country’s oil exports to zero, will have negative repercussions and will affect the entire world, including the US itself,” Nasrallah said.
He then called on world nations to stand up against “US arrogance”, pointing out, “The tyrannical US government has no respect whatsoever for international law and regulations.”
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Iran Threatens To Close Strait Of Hormuz If US Blocks Its Oil Exports
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