Abu Dhabi: The United States is not looking to grant any further exemptions or waivers for Iranian oil after the reimposition of sanctions in November last year, a top official from the US administration said in Abu Dhabi.
“From the beginning, we are not looking to grant any exemptions or waivers from our campaign of maximum economic pressure. We want to get very quickly to a new and better deal to succeed the Iran nuclear deal,” said Brian Hook, US Special Representative for Iran and Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of State, US Department of State.
“Iran historically does not come to the table without a lot of pressure, so we are trying to concentrate our economic pressure quickly and expeditiously. We had to grant waivers as the president had said because we would have very probably increased the price of oil at a time when it was already fairly high.”
Hook was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum that began on Saturday as part of Abu Dhabi sustainability week.
United States gave exemptions to eight countries including India, China and Turkey, among others allowing them to continue importing oil from Iran. Sanctions related to oil imports came into effect in November.
“We are two months into reimposition of sanctions. Iranian regime is experiencing a significant loss of revenue. Iran does not receive hard currency for its oil sales, they are facing a liquidity crisis and this is accelerating Iran’s inflation, the collapse of riyal. Now the swift is disconnected so many Iranian banks, oil is going to continue to go down and this is the price Iran is paying for being a revolutionary regime.”
He also added they imposed sanctions in December on some individuals and entities who were evading sanctions.
“We work very closely with the governments where we feel there is a risk of sanctions evasion and we’ve had lot of success working to deter Iran rogue oil tankers from reaching their destination. Iranian oil tankers today do not have international insurance and every Iranian tanker is a floating liability and Iran is not able to cover the risk of catastrophic oil spill.”
“We have been very prudent and very careful about balancing our economic, national and security interests. We do believe that a rosier oil picture of 2019 creates a better conditions to accelerate our path to zero imports.”