India buying Iran oil in defiance of Trump sanctions

US considers sanction waivers on countries reducing imports of Iranian oil

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were down 54 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $73.80 a barrel.

It faces a November 4 deadline to reimpose harsh sanctions on Iran, lifted in 2015 by the USA under terms of an worldwide nuclear deal with Tehran that President Donald Trump abandoned in May.

However, the Trump administration this weekend announced it is considering waivers on sanctions for countries that are merely reducing their imports of Iranian oil.

Olivier Jakob of Petromatrix said: "One way or another, it looks as though India is going to take some Iranian crude".

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U.S. sanctions on Iran's crude oil exports are due to come into effect from November 4, after being imposed with the aim of stopping Tehran's ballistic missile programme and its involvement in Syria and Iran conflicts.

The Trump administration is actively considering waivers on sanctions it will reimpose next month for countries that are reducing their imports of Iranian oil, a USA government official said on Friday.

India, the world's third-biggest oil importer, will buy 9 million barrels of Iranian oil in November, Reuters reported on Friday, citing two industry sources.

Brent crude oil prices fell more than 1 percent on Monday after Washington said it may grant waivers to sanctions against Iran's oil exports next month, and as Saudi Arabia was said to be replacing any potential shortfall from Iran. According to CNBC, Pradhan said India may use rupees rather than dollars to buy the oil, in an attempt to skirt the sanctions.

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"Chatter that Saudi Arabia has replaced all of Iran's lost oil" is weighing on prices, said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore.

But the United States continues to insist that it expects Iranian oil buyers to bring their purchases down to zero.

Saudi Arabia said last week it plans to raise production in November from October output of 10.7 million barrels per day (bpd), indicating Riyadh will be boosting its supply to the highest ever level.

"Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying on his ministry's website: "(Mohammed) bin Salman's remarks can only satisfy (U.S. President Donald) Trump.

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