US renews bid to reduce Iran oil exports
The United States has renewed six-month waivers on Iranian oil sanctions for South Africa, Turkey and seven Asian countries in exchange for their pledges to reduce purchases from Iran, Secretary of State John Kerry announced here late Wednesday.
The waivers were granted to major oil importers China, India, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Taiwan.
The U.S. is stepping up pressure on Iran until the regime discloses the extent of its nuclear capability. "Today's determination is another example of the international community's strong and steady commitment to convince Iran to meet its international obligations," said Kerry.
"The message to the Iranian regime from the international community is clear: take concrete actions to satisfy the concerns of the international community, or face increasing isolation and pressure."
President Barack Obama determined there is enough oil and oil products being produced outside Iran to allow countries to rely less on Iranian crude, according to the White House," he stressed.
"There currently appears to be sufficient supply of non-Iranian oil to permit foreign countries to significantly reduce their import of Iranian oil, taking into account current estimates of demand, increased production by countries other than Iran, inventories of crude oil and petroleum products, and available strategic petroleum reserves," the White House said in a statement.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Iran has the world's fourth largest proven oil reserves, but production fell dramatically last year as the U.S. and European Union tightened their sanctions.