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Saudi Arabia Welcomes US Decision to Stop Waivers on Iran Oil Imports

Saudi Arabia Welcomes US Decision to Stop Waivers on Iran Oil Imports

Tuesday, 23 April, 2019 - 08:45
Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Saudi Arabia hailed on Tuesday Washington’s decision to stop renewing exemptions granted last year to buyers of Iranian oil, reported the Saudi Press Agency.

Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf stressed that the Kingdom completely backs the measure, saying it was necessary to force Iran to quit its destabilizing policies in the region and cease its support of terrorism throughout the world.

The regime in Iran has been using state resources in order to finance these dangerous policies in total disregard to international law, he continued.

He reiterated Saudi Arabia’s firm stance that the international community must hold the regime accountable to respecting international laws and stop its destructive meddling in the affairs of other countries.

Moreover, Assaf underlined Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih’s confirmation that the Kingdom will maintain its firm policy that seeks to achieve stability in oil markets.

Falih said Monday that Riyadh would work with other oil producers "to ensure adequate supplies are available to consumers while ensuring the global oil market does not go out of balance."

The US demanded on Monday that buyers of Iranian oil stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions, a move to choke off Tehran’s oil revenues.

The US reimposed sanctions in November on exports of Iranian oil after US President Donald Trump last spring unilaterally pulled out of a 2015 accord between Iran and six world powers to curb Tehran’s nuclear program. Eight economies, including China and India, were granted waivers for six months, and several had expected those exemptions to be renewed.

Iran’s oil exports have dropped to about 1 million barrels per day (bpd) from more than 2.5 million bpd prior to the re-imposition of sanctions.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a briefing Monday, said “we’re going to zero across the board,” saying the United States had no plans for a grace period for compliance beyond May 1.

The White House intends to deprive Iran of its lifeline of $50 billion in annual oil revenues, he added.

The White House said it was working with top oil exporters Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to ensure the market was “adequately supplied.”

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