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Washington Post: State Department to announce all countries importing Iranian oil will be subject to US sanctions

Stalemate Continues Between Senate, House

The State Department is set to announce all countries that continue to import Iranian oil will be subject to US sanctions, The Washington Post reported on Sunday.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will announce Monday morning that as of May 2, countries importing Iranian crude or condensate will no longer be granted sanctions waivers by the State Department, two department officials told the Post.

“The goal of the policy is to drive up the costs of Iran’s malign behavior and more strongly address the broad range of threats to peace and security their regime presents,” a State Department official told the Post.

The announcement will come nearly one year after President Donald Trump announced the US was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal.

On April 2, Brian Hook, senior policy adviser to Pompeo, said in a State Department briefing that the US is “on the fast track to zeroing out all purchases of Iranian crude.” Hook said three of the eight importers who had been granted waivers on the Iran oil sanctions are “now at zero.” He said a total of 23 importers were at zero.

Pompeo is set to announce offsets through commitments from other suppliers like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, two State Department officials told the Post. Trump spoke on Thursday with the UAE’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan about the issue, the Post reports.

“The policy of zero Iranian imports originated with Secretary Pompeo,” a senior State Department official told the Post. “He has executed this policy in tight coordination with the president every step of the way. Because the conditions to not grant any more (significant reduction exceptions, or waivers) have now been met, we can now announce zero imports.”

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