US Tells Allies to Stop Buying Iranian Oil, Says Waivers 'Unlikely'

Thousands of Iranians shut down Tehran's Grand Bazaar in largest protest in years

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani takes part in a news conference near the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of NY, U.S., September 22, 2016.

Help us grow and continue telling Israel's story to the world. The protests in late December and early January saw at least 25 people killed and almost 5,000 arrested, but took place largely in Iran's provinces rather than in the capital, Tehran.

The protesters have also shouted political slogans, such as "Leave Syria, leave Gaza and Lebanon, deal with Iran"; "Death to Khamenei", referring to Iran's top leader; and "Death to Palestine".

Emadi and other Iranian economists noted that Iran had imposed import bans during the previous sanctions era before 2016 with only limited success.

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"Iran's oil is cheap, and the country may be selling at a discount, so I think Japanese companies will somehow find a way to continue importing, which may cause frictions between the US and the Japanese government", said Kazuhiko Fuji, a senior fellow at the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry. "I think the predisposition would be, "No, we're not granting waivers", the official said.

"Withdrawal was the worst decision [the USA president] could make". Iran exports more than two billion barrels a day. Those demonstrations, which largely took place outside of Tehran in some 75 smaller cities and towns, were seen as the largest protests since 2009. Iran supplied 18.4 million tonnes of crude oil during April 2017 and January 2018 (first ten months of 2017-18 fiscal).

President Rouhani's administration has come under considerable pressure with 187 representatives from Iran's parliament - more than half of the total - issuing a letter asking that the president change the economic team within his administration.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman would be in the USA next week for talks with their American counterparts secretary of state Mike Pompeo and defence secretary James Mattis.

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Oil customers in China use ships that don't have any exposure to the United States for importing Iranian crude oil, so the business has not been affected by the sanctions, the Sinopec executive said. Rouhani announced plans to boost Iran's foreign trade and give foreign companies a bigger role in its economy.

Mehrdad Emadi, an Iranian economist who heads energy risk analysis at London's Betamatrix consultancy, said the sanctions threat was strengthening interests in the Iranian government that favored tighter state control of the economy.

This mean that the Trump administration will not allow countries to gradually phase out Iran's oil exports over the duration of many months like the Obama White House did. Detailed figures for foreign exchange reserves are secret, but Tehran has now drawn down much of that buffer to handle expenses such as capital flight and foreign intervention, Emadi said.

At least some of the Iranian people are fed up with that meddling and, despite harsh censorship and restrictions on their ability to communicate with the outside world and join the online grid, are becoming aware of gross violations their government is responsible for at the expense of its own people.

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