Washington, Nov 5: Asserting that America would continue to exert pressure on Tehran, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday (November 5) temporary waivers from sanctions have been issued to China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey.
The Trump administration had earlier said it is confident that "the toughest ever" sanctions against Iran which came into force from today (November 5) will have the intended effect of altering the Iranian regime's behaviour. India has so far remained defiant and maintained that it would not completely stop oil imports from Iran. India has, however, reduced the quantity of crude imports from Iran.
The sanctions cover Iran's banking and energy sectors and reinstate penalties for countries and companies in Europe, Asia and elsewhere that do not halt Iranian oil imports.
"Iranian regime can either do 180 degree turn from its course of action and act like normal country or see its economy crumble. Hope new agreement with Iran's possible but until it makes changes in 12 ways I listed in May, we will be relentless in exerting pressure on it," Pompeo said today.
India and China are the two biggest buyers of Iranian crude. Pompeo had earlier avoided giving clear answer when asked about the commitment from India and China on zero-oil purchase from Iran.
"We have decided to issue temporary allotments to a handful of countries due to specific circumstances. The US will be granting these exemptions to China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey," reports quoted Pompeo as saying.
The Trump administration earlier said it has asked these countries to bring down their oil purchase to zero as soon as possible.
In May, President Donald Trump had pulled US out of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) terming it as disastrous". Under the Obama-era deal, involving five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, Iran agreed to stop its nuclear programme in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.