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2018-07-03 — washingtonpost.com

"Our goal is to increase pressure on the Iranian regime by reducing to zero its revenue on crude-oil sales," Brian Hook, the State Department's director of policy planning, said at a briefing. "We are prepared to work with countries that are reducing their imports on a case-by-case basis, but as with our other sanctions, we are not looking to grant waivers or licenses."

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After the remarks, U.S. crude jumped more than 8 percent and closed at more than $74 a barrel -- a first since November 2014.

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Some key countries are reliant on Iranian oil imports, including India and Turkey. Last week, Turkey's economy minister said his country does not plan to abide by the U.S. demand for countries to stop importing Iranian oil, calling the request "nonbinding" on Turkey -- a stinging rebuke from a NATO ally.

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Last week, some White House officials privately expressed displeasure with the State Department remarks because they were at odds with another Trump administration priority -- stopping oil prices from rising too high ahead of the midterm elections.

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