Published: Tue, May 07, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

United States plans to announce new set of sanctions against Iran

United States plans to announce new set of sanctions against Iran

Under the 2015 deal, Iran restricted the capacity of its uranium enrichment program - widely seen as a route to developing a nuclear weapon - in exchange for a lifting of most global sanctions.

But under the Trump administration, the USA exited the deal and revived sanctions, including an embargo against Iran's economically important oil sector.

Two weeks ago, the Trump Administration surprised both domestic and global energy markets players and watchers when it refused to extend 180-day waivers for Iranian oil first put in place in November.

Beyond Iran, the crisis in Venezuela has also disrupted oil supplies from this OPEC member, with Washington placing oil sanctions on the Venezuelan government under President Nicolas Maduro.

Then, the Joint Commission would have 15 days to resolve the issue.

Brent crude oil futures dropped 2.1 percent to $69.34 per barrel after hitting the lowest level since April 2.

The White House also ended oil purchase waivers granted to Iran's main customers - including China, India and Turkey - meant to cut Iran's access to its main source of foreign currency revenue as part of its campaign of "maximum pressure" against the Islamic republic. It should be noted that the Global Times is known for expressing hawkish views, sometimes in adherence with the official Chinese Communist Party (CCP) line and sometimes not.

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Analysts said there were a number of factors driving oil prices.

However, experts believe that Iran's measures will be within the framework of the JCPOA and will not mean withdrawal from the deal.

State-run IRIB news agency claims Iran does not plan to pull out of the agreement but is furious with the USA for doing so.

Reports of Iran's upcoming announcement come specifically in response to the US State Department's decision on May 3 that it would revoke waivers for Iran that would allow it to ship its heavy water overseas for storage and swap its enriched uranium for natural uranium.

Moreover, many claim that if China resists calls to end Iranian oil imports, it could jeopardize ongoing sensitive trade talks, which appear to be heading to successful conclusion.

Zamaninia gave no details about the "grey market", but Iran is widely reported to have sold oil at steep discounts and often through private firms during sanctions earlier this decade.

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