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Taiwan waived from US ban on Iranian oil

Taiwan among 8 nations given temporary reprieve from US ban on Iranian oil imports

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Mike Pompeo, left, outlining sanctions on Iran on Nov. 5

Mike Pompeo, left, outlining sanctions on Iran on Nov. 5 (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan is among the eight nations granted a temporary waiver to continue importing Iranian oil on Nov. 5, as the U.S. rolled out a host of sanctions impacting Iran’s energy, financial, shipbuilding, and shipping sectors.

The eight nations were given six months to end Iranian oil imports entirely, in-part due to recent efforts to wind-down trade with the Islamic republic, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters.

At midnight on Nov. 5, the U.S. government reinstated the last of the sanctions lifted as part of the 2015 multilateral deal which saw Iran agree to limit its nuclear activities and allow international inspections in return for a reduction of sanctions. U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal, largely because he claims it does not address Iran’s other military activities, as well as a host of other issues.

The resumption of sanctions is intended “to compel Iran to permanently abandon its well-documented outlaw activities and behave as a normal country,” according to Pompeo. The U.S. government has given Iran a list of 12 demands which must be fulfilled prior to sanctions being lifted.

China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey are allowed to continue to import Iranian oil.

These states have agreed to significantly reduce trade with Iran, although individual schedules for trade reductions are not expected to be made public, reported S&P Global Platts.

The revenue Iran will receive from further oil sales with the eight nations will be held in foreign bank accounts, with the money only being released for purchase of humanitarian goods or a narrow range of non-sanctioned goods, according to Pompeo.

The sanction waiver was designed to maintain international oil price stability.

"We have the toughest sanctions ever imposed, but on oil we want to go a little bit slower, because I don't want to drive the oil prices in the world," Trump told reporters on Nov. 6.

"I could get the Iran oil down to zero immediately, but it would cause a shock to the market."