When Trump dumped the phony Iran nuclear deal last year he reimposed heavy sanctions on Iran. Countries that were importing Iranian oil were told to stop or they would be subject to US sanctions.
In order to give them time to do this they were issued waivers, but now those waivers are about to expire and the Trump administration announced this morning that they are NOT going to renew those waivers:
AP – The White House says the U.S. is ending exemptions from sanctions for countries that import Iranian oil. In a statement, the White House said it was taking “timely action to assure that global demand is met as all Iranian oil is removed from the market.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was to discuss the move at the State Department Monday morning. The decision means sanctions waivers for five nations, including China and India and U.S. treaty allies Japan, South Korea and Turkey, won’t be renewed when they expire on May 2.
The move comes as the administration toughens its already strict penalties on Iran by trying to choke off all the revenue the country makes from oil sales.
The waivers had been in place since November, when the administration re-imposed sanctions on Iran after President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
This amounts to an ultimatum for three of our allies to drop Iranian oil or be subject to tough US sanctions.
Pompeo suggests they have no excuse now as “production increases elsewhere will make up for the loss of Iranian oil on the market”.
He also tweeted a few moments ago:
Maximum pressure on the Iranian regime means maximum pressure. That’s why the U.S. will not issue any exceptions to Iranian oil importers. The global oil market remains well-supplied. We’re confident it will remain stable as jurisdictions transition away from Iranian crude.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) April 22, 2019
I don’t expect Turkey to comply with this ultimatum whatsoever, which likely means we’re about to sanction a NATO ally.
As far as Japan and South Korea, I would hope that they come into compliance soon.
UPDATE: Trump just tweeted on this:
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