Iran could sell oil without US waivers: Iranian leader

By Firdevs Yuksel

ANKARA (AA) – Iran's President Hassan Rouhani maintained that Iran could still sell its oil even if the U.S. did not grant sanction waivers to eight countries, Shana reported the president as saying on Monday.

Rouhani argued that the U.S.' actions in assigning eight countries waivers from oil sanctions was a victory for Iran given that the U.S. previously explicitly stated they would bring Iran's oil exports to zero, the Oil Ministry's news outlet reported.

"I have told all the world leaders in the UN that this time we will break U.S. embargoes as they are cruel and against UN regulations, pacts and resolutions," he asserted.

The second wave of renewed U.S. sanctions on OPEC's third largest exporter officially started on Monday, Nov. 5, targeting Iran's energy and and financial sectors along with its shipping industry.

The U.S. administration announced Friday, Nov. 2 that it would temporarily allow eight importers to continue trading oil with Iran.

Although the Trump administration has not yet named the eight countries, the top importers of Iran's oil including China, India, South Korea, Turkey, Italy, the U.A.E. Japan and Taiwan, are expected to temporarily continue to buy Iranian oil.

– Tensions between US, Iran

Tension between Washington and Tehran mounted since May, when Trump unilaterally withdrew his country from the 2015 landmark nuclear deal signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations — the five permanent UN Security Council members: the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, and France, plus Germany.

The 2015 agreement placed strict restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

He also announced that he would reinstate sanctions against Tehran, which were lifted by the agreement in exchange for tight restrictions on the country's nuclear program.

On July 2, the U.S. State Department announced its intention to reduce Iranian oil revenue to zero. The following day, Rouhani warned that if the U.S. impeded Iran’s oil exports, those of the region’s other oil producers would suffer a similar fate.

In August, the U.S. imposed the first round of economic sanctions on Iran, which mainly targeted the country’s banking sector.