United States imposes 'toughest ever' sanctions on Iran

A Saudi Arabian oil facility

A Saudi Arabian oil facility

S&P Global Platts reported on Tuesday that South Korea would be able to take around 4 million barrels a month (130,000 bpd) of Iranian crude and condensate under a USA sanctions waiver.

India, the world's third-biggest oil consumer, meets more than 80% of its oil needs through imports. India's top oil supplier is Iraq, followed by Iran and Saudi Arabia. "We believe that China's normal cooperation (with Iran) within global law is legal and legitimate, and this shall be respected".

But Senator Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the Trump administration deserves credit for re-imposing sanctions and dramatically reducing Iran's oil exports and revenues.

The US on yesterday reimposed all penalties that had been lifted as part of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal as the Trump administration added almost 700 targets, including 50 Iranian financial institutions, to a sanctions list.

Trump pulled America out of the 2015 nuclear deal Iran struck with world powers in May.

"We've said for a long time: Zero should mean zero", John Bolton, White House National Security adviser told Fox Business Network in an interview.

"This is only the beginning of the Iranian production curtailment story, not the end", said Michael Tran, commodity strategist at RBC Capital Markets.

The U.S. Treasury Department imposed penalties on more than 700 Iranian and Iranian-linked individuals, entities, aircraft and vessels in the new sanctions.

Oil prices fell on Tuesday, with USA crude futures sliding to an eight-month low, a day after Washington granted sanction waivers to top buyers of Iranian oil and as Iran said it had so far been able to sell as much oil as it needs to sell.

Concerns about oil demand weighed on prices.

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On the supply-side, oil is in ample availability despite the sanctions against Iran. "The maximum pressure exerted by the United States is only going to mount from here".

"In May, President Trump had pulled the USA out of the 2015 landmark JCPOA terming it as disastrous".

"These sanctions have already had an enormous impact".

However, scattered among the list are surprising entries, like the crude oil tanker Sanchi.

Another entry was Iran's Tat Bank, which closed in 2012.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif late Monday in a tweet called the re-imposition of sanctions a desperate move and said they target ordinary Iranians.

The United States said on Friday it will temporarily allow eight importers to keep buying Iranian oil when it re-imposes sanctions on Monday aimed at forcing Tehran to curb its nuclear, missile and regional activities.

But the exemptions granted to Iran's biggest oil clients - China, India, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Greece, Taiwan and Turkey - allow them to import at least some oil for another 180 days and could mean exports start to rise after November.

South Korea says it can also continue exporting non-sanctioned products to Iran after the United States agreed to recognize a transaction system where local companies receive payments through two Korean won-denominated accounts that Iran's central bank opened in South Korea.

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