Published: Mon, November 05, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

South Korea gets United States exemption on Iran crude oil imports

South Korea gets United States exemption on Iran crude oil imports

South Korea has just confirmed that they have gotten exemption on Iranian oil imports and that they are allowed to continue transactions with the Iranian central bank as well. "Our goal remains getting countries to zero imports of Iranian oil". This could continue even in FY19. They could upset world oil markets, though the United States has granted temporary waivers to eight jurisdictions to continue importing Iranian oil.

The other parties to the nuclear deal see it as an important bulwark against the risk of wider war in the Middle East and have reaffirmed their commitment to it. Iran has said it could leave the pact if the European Union cannot protect its economic benefits.

The incident made Iran an worldwide pariah and caused a diplomatic schism between the two countries that has remained to this day.

How did we get here?

France, Germany, Britain, and the European Union issued a joint condemnation Friday of the U.S. move, vowing to protect European companies doing "legitimate" business with Tehran.

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The Trump administration is reinstating all U.S. sanctions on Iran that were removed under the 2015 nuclear deal . The latest U.S. measures exclude any company that trades with Iran from doing business in the United States.

Crude oil markets topped out with WTI reaching 75.00 per barrel only a month ago, but a crushing wave of crude production is threatening global oil markets' two-year bullish extension.

Taking effect Monday, the measures are the most concrete result yet of US President Donald Trump's controversial decision in May to abandon the multi-nation nuclear deal with Tehran.

According to industry experts, bringing oil from the U.S. may be expensive due to distance.

They have promised to support European firms that do "legitimate business" with Iran and have set up an alternative payment mechanism - or Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) - that will help companies trade without facing United States penalties.

In this regard, India is also looking to adopt the strategy as it developed prior to 2015 when a West-imposed sanction on Tehran affected supplies.

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On Sunday, thousands of Iranians chanting "Death to America" rallied, rejecting calls for talks. The two countries have been enemies, on opposite sides of Middle East conflict, ever since. Also, the earlier practice of routing money for oil through UCO Bank and IDBI Bank may be explored.

In spite of August claims from Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, that oil-buying waivers would be "few and far between", at least eight modern, developed nations will continue their purchase of Tehran's oil output unabated, according to the Japan Times. United States production hit a record 11.3 million barrels a day in August, and Russia's output rose to 11.4 million bpd, a post-Soviet era peak. Sources said this could be used under the Trump administration too for 8 countries.

While Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga declined to detail any potential sanction waivers, he said his government had asked Washington that sanctions should not have an adverse impact on Japanese companies.

"Don't be disillusioned about how painful this will be", says Ellie Geranmayeh, senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

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