U.S. grants eight countries Iran sanctions waivers

Rouhani: Iran does not fear new US sanctions on energy, banking sectors

According to sources in the know, India is close to a deal with the USA that will allow it to continue buying crude oil from Iran without attracting any sanction after it agreed to cut imports and escrow payments.

In a presidential memorandum late on October 31, Trump said he determined there was sufficient supply of petroleum and petroleum products in the global market to cushion the impact of a cut in purchases of Iranian oil.

- Financial transactions. Starting on Monday, any foreign institution that does business with Iran's central bank or other banks in the country will lose access to the USA financial system.

Asked about reports that the USA was going to grant India waiver from the Iran sanctions, Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar said the government has not heard anything from Washington.

Through April, South Korea had imported an average of 300,000 bpd of Iranian oil, but in the months since Trump's decision, it tapered those purchases in anticipation of the sanctions.

Washington reimposed sanctions on Tehran after President Trump pulled out of the Iran Nuclear Deal earlier this year.

Goldman Sachs said it expects Iran's crude exports to fall to 1.15 million bpd by the end of the year. Iran supplied 18.4 million tonnes of crude oil between April 2017 and January 2018 (first 10 months of fiscal 2017-18).

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Indian and the USA officials have been negotiating for months on terms of waiver from sanctions.

A waiver will come as a big relief to Indian Oil and MRPL, the two largest Iranian oil consumers. Iran could mix its oil with crude from neighboring Iraq, sell on the black market or try a barter system supported by the Europeans. "I don't know whether these waivers are permanent or temporary ones", IRIB quoted Iran's Deputy Oil Minister Ali Kardor as saying. The contract has fallen 12 percent since the beginning of October.

India has told the US that it would be impossible for India until at least next March to stop importing Iranian oil-which is cheaper than alternatives-because of India's rising energy bill and weaker currency, an Indian government source told Reuters earlier this week.

"We think Trump will agree to China importing some volumes, similar to the treatment that India and South Korea receive", Clayton Allen of Height Securities said in a note on Friday. Turkey's Energy Ministry said on Friday it had not received written notification of any exemption.

The Indian side, while building its case for a waiver, assured the U.S. that this payment mechanism ensures Iran can't use oil money from India for any terror-related activity, a key American concern. The United Arab Emirates imports large amounts of Iranian fuel oil to power ships and Egypt imports oil from Iran for the Sumed pipeline.

Iran said it does not fear the impending US sanctions that are set to go into effect next week.

Russian Federation has been planning to import oil from Tehran but no major projects have materialized.

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