US: No waiver for China on stopping purchase of Iranian Oil

The Trump administration has stated that there will be no short-term waiver or any wind-down period over China’s oil purchases from the Republic of Iran in the wake of the recent announcement made by Washington that the customers of Iran should halt their purchases by May 1 or have to face US sanctions. The administration maintained a clear stance for China which is the top-most oil consumer of Iran that there will be no additional waivers to the sanctions after the ones which had been granted in November. There will be no specific wind-down period either.
As per the law of US sanctions, countries which will import Iranian oil, like China, India and Turkey could be allowed a specific wind-down period before they reach a zero-oil purchase. The wind-down period will be very different from the 180-day exceptions which the Trump administration had granted in November to China and many other importers for significant reduction of oil purchases from Iran. China has alternate suppliers of oil which include the United States and Saudi Arabia.
President Trump had walked out from the Iranian Nuclear Deal which was signed between Iran and six major world powers in May. Trump is now reapplying all the sanctions without any kind of exceptions for reduction of oil purchases. The latter step was never taken under the Obama administration when it had levied sanctions on Iran. Trump’s sanctions on Iran are intended for curbing the nuclear and ballistic missile program and reduction of its influence in Syria, Yemen and other Middle-Eastern countries. The sanctions under the Obama administration were only directed at the nuclear program of Iran.
As the Trump administration is preparing to announce its intention for sinking the Iranian exports to an absolute zero, the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard had repeated its threat for blocking the Strait of Hormuz which is a critical shipping route which links the Middle East oil producers to the markets in Asia, Europe and North America. Any such move by Iran will not only hit the US but both Iran and its allies as an attempt for disrupting the freedom of navigation will have a debilitating effect first on Iran and then to a wider international community.
China will have to cut its oil purchases to zero as else Trump administration may block Chinese banks from the US financial system thus leading to unprecedented consequences for finance and business between the two nations.



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