The Trump administration’s hard-line economic policy against the Islamic Republic continues in response to Tehran downing a US drone last week. After Trump announced new sanctions directly targeting the Iranian leadership on Monday, the US now says they will enforce penalties on those who violate previous restrictions as well.
“We will sanction any imports of Iranian crude oil… There are right now no oil waivers in place,” Hook said when asked about continued sales of Iranian crude in Asia. Waivers had previously been in place allowing for several countries, reliant on importing Iranian oil, to continue buying it in spite of sanctions.
Hook explicitly mentioned reports that Iran’s largest buyer, China, has received at least one shipment since its sanctions waiver was revoked, reiterating: “We will sanction any illicit purchases of Iranian crude oil.”
Beijing has been highly critical of the decision to cancel the waivers, and they are not the only ones opposed to Washington’s obstinate measures in the international community. The EU continues to make accommodating efforts in order to convince Iran to keep adhering to the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal, despite the US’ unceremonious withdrawal. The EU is expected to announce a multi-million dollar credit line to help ease trade next week.
Although the recent outbreak of hostilities began with Trump’s decision to pull out of the deal agreed by his predecessor, Hook told reporters that it was Iran who had “rejected diplomacy too many times.”