The Trump administration is expected to announce on Monday that all countries will soon have to stop buying Iranian oil or be subject to US sanctions. Crude prices jumped to their highest level for 2019 so far.
Sources told the Associated Press that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will announce that sanction waivers won’t be renewed for five countries (Japan, South Korea, Turkey, China and India) when they expire on May 2.
According to the sources, the decision not to extend the waivers was finalized on Friday by US President Donald Trump. It is intended to further ramp up pressure on Tehran by restraining the revenue it gets from oil exports.
Oil prices spiked more than three percent on Monday following reports of the upcoming move by Washington. Brent crude futures rose by as much as 3.3 percent to $74.31 a barrel, the highest since November 1, before easing back to $73.87 by 9:15am GMT.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures climbed by as much as 2.9 percent to $65.87 per barrel, the highest since October 31.
Washington re-imposed sanctions on Tehran after President Donald Trump withdrew the US from a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and several world powers. With a goal of completely halting Iran’s oil exports, Washington granted temporary import waivers to China, India, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Turkey and South Korea to ensure low oil prices and avoid disruption to the global oil market.
Since November, three of the eight – Italy, Greece and Taiwan – have stopped importing oil from Iran.