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US State department: Over 20 nations dropped Iranian oil Imports to zero

April 24/ 10:17

Washington. More than 20 countries have lowered their oil trade with Iran to zero since last May, US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

The official noted that Washington gave a choice to other countries to work with the United Sates or continue to deal with Iran.

At the same time, Hook vowed that the US will help Iraq increase its oil output so that Turkey and other importing countries remain well supplied after Washington ends its Iran sanctions waivers.

The waivers, which will not be reissued after they expire in May, as Trump announced Monday, were given to a total of eight countries in November 2018, including China, Japan, India, Italy, Greece, South Korea Taiwan and Turkey. However, Greece, Italy and Taiwan no longer need sanctions waivers because they have already stopped their Iranian oil imports, told Sputnik.

Commenting on the decision, Washington announced that the US, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) would ensure that the global oil market would remain "adequately supplied".

The move prompted significant raise of oil prices: Internatonal benchmark Brent increased 2.6 percent to $73.87 a barrel, the highest since early November, while US crude futures rose 2.4 percent to $65.52.

The announcement drew swift objections from Turkey and China, which were among the countries that previously received such waivers. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu criticised the US move in a Twitter post, saying that his country rejects unilateral sanctions and US attempts to impose rules on Turkey's relations with its neighbors.

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