Countries asking for Iran sanctions waivers

  • With the final tranche of US sanctions on Iran taking effect on 5 November, numerous countries have approached the US asking for waivers. Whilst the EU is strongly opposed to the US’ withdrawal from the JCPOA, it appears non-European countries and companies will be hit harder by the new sanctions. Many EU companies were fearful of doing business with Iran after sanctions were eased following the JCPOA, and rightly so. The east was more willing and has a heavier reliance on Iranian oil.

    Last week Sanctionline reported that India was seeking waivers from US sanctions in order to continue purchasing oil from Iran. China and Turkey are also reluctant to reduce their import of Iranian oil given the lack of alternative options. If countries immediately stop purchasing Iranian oil, the cost of oil will inevitably spike. The Trump administration is being encouraged to issue waivers due to the fact a sharp increase in oil prices will also hurt the US.

    South Korea has requested “maximum flexibility” from the US for a waiver for South Korean companies doing business with Iran, and Iraq believes it should not be penalised because it heavily relies on Iran for gas and electricity supplies.

    Despite Trump’s initial hardline rhetoric on those doing business with Iran, the US is carefully considering these waivers.