President Donald Trump says he was concerned about rising oil prices as his administration reinstated sanctions on Iran Monday.
He tells reporters at Andrews Air Force Base that these are the “toughest sanctions ever imposed” but “we want to go a little bit slower” to avoid causing global oil prices to spike.
“I could get the Iran oil down to zero immediately, but it would cause a shock to the market,” Trump says. “I don’t want to lift oil prices. And if you notice, oil prices are going down very substantially, despite the fact that already half of their capacity is gone.”
Iran’s U.N. ambassador is accusing the United States of “brazenly and boldly” violating a U.N. Security Council resolution that unanimously endorsed the 2015 nuclear deal by re-imposing sanctions. He called for “a collective response by the international community.”
Gholamali Khoshroo said in a letter Monday to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that the U.S. “unilateral coercive measures” also violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
In addition, he said the U.S. sanctions are “contrary to the provisional measures that were ordered by the International Court of Justice on Oct. 3, 2018.”
Khoshroo, who asked that the letter be circulated to the 15-member Security Council and the 193-member General Assembly, said a collective response against the “irresponsible conduct” of the U.S. is needed “to uphold the rule of law, to prevent undermining diplomacy and to protect multilateralism.”
The sanctions target Iran’s energy, financial and shipping sectors and are aimed at crippling the country’s economy following President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal. The measures that came into effect on Monday restore all the sanctions that had been lifted under the accord that gave Iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.
But as the administration seeks to cut off Iran’s oil revenue it will allow some of its closest allies and rival China to continue to purchase Iranian oil as long as they work to reduce imports to zero.
Besides China, Greece, India, Italy, Turkey, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan get U.S. sanctions waivers for Iran oil imports.
In an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” Pompeo refused to reveal which countries received waivers from U.S. sanctions to continue importing Iranian oil. But he said the eight unidentified nations “need a little bit more time to get to zero.” He would not rule out the Trump administration extending the waivers beyond six months
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