29-10-2018 05:00 PM
Soon after U.S. President Donald Trump proclaimed in May he would reimpose sanctions on Iran, the State Department telling countries to cut oil purchases from the Islamic Republic to zero.
The approach is meant to cripple Iran's oil-dependent market and force Tehran to quash not only its nuclear objective, but this time, its ballistic missile program and its influence in Syria.
According to sources, with just time to go prior to renewed sanctions take effect Nov. 5, the certainty is setting in: three of Iran’s top five customers – India, China, and Turkey - are defending Washington’s call to end purchases completely, in conflict there are not adequate supplies worldwide to restore them.
That pressure, along with worries of a damaging oil price spike, is putting the Trump administration’s hard line to the test and raising the possibility of bilateral deals to allow some buying to continue, according to the sources.
According to administration sources, the worries has cracked the administration into two camps, one led by National Security Adviser John Bolton, who wants the toughest possible move towards, and another by State Department officials enthusiastic to poise sanctions against avoiding an oil price spear that could harm the U.S. and its allies.
The global price of oil peaked just below $87 a barrel this month, a four-year high. For this reason concerned, the source said, the administration is bearing in mind limited waivers for some Iranian clients until Russia and Saudi Arabia add extra supply next year, while restricting what Tehran can do with the earnings in the interim.