US Ends Sanction Waivers for Countries Importing Iranian oil
“Given the illegal nature of the U.S. sanctions, Iran has not and will not consider any value for the waivers granted,” Mousavi said. “However, in view of the negative effects in politics of these sanctions … Iranian Foreign Ministry has been continuously in touch with relevant domestic institutions while holding comprehensive consultations with many foreign partners, including Europeans.”
The Trump administration announced on Monday that they would be cancelling waivers to eight countries buying oil from Iran as they tighten the economic blockade against the Persian Gulf nation.
Mousavi said Iran will take appropriate actions to counter the U.S. move, adding that his government will make it public.
Not everyone in the Iranian government and military were as cordial as Mousavi, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Navy, Alireza Tangsiri, vowed to take harsher actions against the U.S.
Tangsiri vowed to close the important Strait of Hormuz, which would be a major blow to the U.S. Navy who is currently docked at their largest Middle Eastern naval base in Bahrain.
“If we are prevented from using it, we will close it,” Tangsiri said, as cited by the state-run Fars News Agency. “In the event of any threats, we will not have the slightest hesitation to protect and defend Iran’s waterway.”
Iran’s oil exports have dropped to about 1 million barrels per day (bpd) from more than 2.5 million bpd prior to the re-imposition of sanctions.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a briefing Monday, said “we’re going to zero across the board,” saying the United States had no plans for a grace period for compliance beyond May 1.
The White House intends to deprive Iran of its lifeline of $50 billion in annual oil revenues, Pompeo said, as it pressures Tehran to curtail its nuclear program, ballistic missile tests and support for conflicts in Syria and Yemen.