Brent crude drops below $83 on expectations Iran will maintain some exports

India buying Iran oil in defiance of Trump sanctions

The U.S.'s sanctions on Iranian oil come into effect on November 4, but at least one country says it won't be playing ball.

The sanctions are being reimposed as a result of Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which had lifted sanctions in exchange for curbs on Tehran's nuclear activities.

It has also imposed sanctions against third countries that conduct business with Iran.

Two domestic companies have placed orders to buy Iranian oil in November, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Monday, adding that the government does not yet know if it will be granted a waiver from United States sanctions on Iran.

None of the Iranian crude exported in the first week of October is heading for Europe, according to the Refinitiv data.

India will buy nine million barrels of Iranian oil in November, in a signal the world's third-biggest oil importer will continue purchasing crude from the Islamic republic despite U.S. sanctions coming into force on November 4.

With the European Union considering the creation of a "special objective vehicle" before November to facilitate trade with Iran, India hopes to find a way to settle payments to Tehran.

The IMF said the contraction in the Iranian economy that it now is projecting over the next two years was due to "reduced oil production" under the sanctions.

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In May, Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal despite objection from the other signatories, the UK, Russia, Germany, China, and France, re-imposing sanctions lifted under the deal.

"Any country that makes such claims. just wants to display its support for the U.S. sanctions against Iran", Zanganeh was quoted as saying.

The current stance differs drastically from the administration's position just four months ago, when Trump was pressuring his administration to fully enforce US sanctions on Iran. "I think the predisposition would be no, we're not granting waivers". Top officials at the US Treasury Department also pushed for Tehran to remain connected with SWIFT. "That might be their opinion".

"Previously there was no European channel", the second source said.

Trump administration officials have said their goal is to slash Iranian oil exports to "zero".

In the previous round of sanctions from 2012 to 2015, India continued to buy Iranian crude although it had to cut purchases significantly to protect its wider exposure to the USA financial system.

"That said, a maximum pressure campaign is a no spin zone; the numbers will reveal whether countries are trying to go to zero or just doing the bare minimum to win waivers", said Goldberg, now a senior adviser to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. "So let us see how it evolves".


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