Tomato squeeze: US sanctions begin to hurt Iran's economy

Japanese oil tanker

Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Hiroshige Seko said last month Japan "intends to have talks with the USA tenaciously in order to continue Iranian crude oil imports".

India imports 83% of its oil requirements, and about 9.4% of the 220.4 million metric tonnes (million MT) of crude oil imported by India was from Iran.

The note did not provide any details of the talking points, but added, generically, the special representative "will engage our allies and partners on our shared need to counter the entirety of the Iranian regime's destructive behaviour in the Middle East, and in their own neighbourhoods".

India imported 528,000 bpd of Iranian oil in September, up by 1 percent from August, due to delays of some August cargoes until Indian refiners received the government nod to import Iran's oil on Iranian tankers with Iranian insurance, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing tanker data by shipping and industry sources.

Earlier on Friday, US State department spokeswoman Heather Nauert in a Twitter post disclosed that Hook was travelling to India and Europe as the deadline for a second set of punishing US sanctions was to take effect from 4 November.

It has given a November 4 deadline to its allies to bring down their import of Iranian oil to zero. A phased reduction is what it has sought, as had been the policy under President Barack Obama before the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2015 that lifted the UN-mandated Iran sanctions reinforced by those imposed by the United States.

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"We believe that countries coming together and recognising the malign influence that Iran has had around the world is important".

The firm said China had also increased shipments from the Middle Eastern country by 29,000 bpd to 620,000 bpd, while cutting its U.S. purchases amid an ongoing trade spat with the United States.

Reports emerged in early September that India had given permission to state-owned refiners to import oil from Iran on Iranian tankers using Iranian-backed insurance, after the biggest Indian shipping company backed out of Iran voyages due to the US sanctions.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said since July that the government would consider requests for sanctions relief from a "handful of countries".

The spokesperson's observation came a day after President Donald Trump said India "is going to find out ..."

On the implication of the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act or CAATSA on India after it inked the Dollars 5 billion deal with Russian Federation to purchase the S-400 Triumf air defence system, Ms Nauert said, "He (the president) was asked also about CAATSA sanctions and possible imposition of CAATSA sanctions". We'll see. So I'm not going to get ahead of him, but certainly when we hear about things such as purchasing oil or the S-400 systems, it's not helpful. And he said, you know, India is going to find out.

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