US ends waivers for Iran oil sanctions

Announcement part of 'maximum pressure' campaign to stop country's oil exports

The United States announced Monday it would end waivers for sanctions on countries importing oil from Iran.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the announcement as part of Washington’s “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran to force countries to cease getting oil from Tehran.

Pompeo said the U.S. plans to force Iran to get to “zero across the board,” in terms of Iranian oil exports.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration reimposed sanctions on Iranian oil exports in November after the president pulled out of the 2015 Iran Nuclear deal between Tehran, Washington, and five other countries.

The administration then announced it would give waivers, called Significant Reduction Exceptions (SREs), to eight countries to help them wean off their supply of Iranian oil. Those countries are China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey.

"We have used the highest possible care in our decision to ensure market stability," Pompeo told reporters at the State Department.

He said SRE waivers will end May 2.

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