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Mnuchin Says US Will Consider Some Waivers on Iran Sanctions

Mnuchin Says US Will Consider Some Waivers on Iran Sanctions

Earlier this month, the U.S. said that the goal was to get as many countries as possible down to zero Iranian oil imports and it has repeatedly said it could potentially also target countries that kept doing business with Iran.

Mnuchin says the USA wants oil purchases reduced to zero, but exemptions will be considered in certain cases if that can't be done overnight.

US President Donald Trump reiterated on the same day in an interview with Fox News that the nuclear deal with Iran the US withdrew from in May "is good for a lot of countries that do business with Iran, but it is not good for this country [U.S.] and it is not ultimately good for the world". Iranian exports dropped to about 1.0-to-1.5 million barrels a day during the 2013-2015 period of strong US and European economic sanctions.

"We've said very specifically, there's no blanket waivers, there's no grandfathering", Mnuchin said.

Velayati said that Russian energy giants Rosneft and Gazprom have started talks with Iran's oil ministry to sign deals worth up to $10 billion.

Washington's rejection of the exemption requests means that European companies that rushed to do business with Iran following the lifting of sanctions could be subjected to extra-territorial enforcement of United States sanctions and be cut off from the US-dominated world financial system.

"Make no mistake about it", Pompeo said, "we're determined to impose these sanctions globally and broadly". The filing asks the I-C-J to order Washington to provisionally lift its sanctions ahead of more detailed arguments.

He added: "The State Department has the ability to issue waivers around significant reductions in the oil markets, that's something that Treasury and State will be doing".

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Zarif said the sanctions violate worldwide law and accused Washington of showing "contempt for diplomacy and legal obligations".

Iran has said both are non-debatable, other signatories to the 2015 atomic accord including significant European partners Britain, France and Germany, and in addition Russian Federation and China, remained committed to the deal.

It comes as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on Europe and other countries to cut economic ties with Iran over what Washington called Tehran's support for terrorism and spreading of regional instability.

"We're using every element of American power to try to achieve the ends, to try to get Iran to behave in a way that is rational and normal", Pompeo said.

Iran filed the lawsuit with the International Court of Justice, based in the Hague.

Iran has said it will stay in the deal if it still receives the economic benefits.

Sinopec would continue to buy Iranian oil on fears that China would impose tariffs on U.S. oil imports, Asia Times quoted an unnamed company executive as saying. "The U.S., Saudi Arabian and Israel are hoping by isolating and sanctioning Iran to curve its influence in the region".

Last week, USA officials met with counterparts in Saudi Arabia to discuss the possibility of that nation increasing its oil output to fill the void that would be created if the Trump administration succeeds in weaning allies off Iranian oil.