Oil prices drop over 1 percent on Iran sanctions waivers

A Saudi Arabian oil facility

During a visit to Madrid on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the US decision to re-impose sanctions on Iran was "not legitimate" and that the rest of the parties to the 2015 nuclear deal abandoned by Washington are working to make economic cooperation with Tehran possible.

He says imports cover nearly 80 percent of India's energy needs, and that it must import from Iran in order to grow its economy. Iran is its third-largest supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia and meets about 10% of total needs.

The deal had seen most worldwide financial and economic sanctions on Iran lifted in return for Tehran curbing its disputed nuclear activity under United Nations surveillance.

But Senator Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the Trump administration deserves credit for re-imposing sanctions and dramatically reducing Iran's oil exports and revenues. They're the strongest sanctions we've ever imposed.

Iran has dismissed these charges and maintains that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes.

India, Iran's second-biggest oil customer, also cut orders ahead of the sanctions, hoping its effort to reduce reliance on Tehran would pay off in Washington and win it a waiver once the sanctions restarted. He said he had discussed the list with other officials, with many saying it was "less than what we expected".

Jameel Ahmad, head of market research at futures brokerage FXTM said the "sanctions on Iran have been.priced into the oil markets a long time ago", and that he would "instead focus more heavily on the global demand outlook because of the ongoing external uncertainties weighing down on economic prospects". The President did not respond to a question about the waiver.

The new sanctions particularly hurt Iran's vital oil industry, which provides a crucial source of hard currency.

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Even China, locked in a bitter trade war with the United States, bowed to pressure from Washington and dialled back imports.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, however, told reporters Tuesday that Japan will monitor and analyze any possible impact the sanctions may have to make sure the sanctions do not adversely affect Japanese companies.

"In May, President Trump had pulled the U.S. out of the 2015 landmark JCPOA terming it as disastrous".

However, scattered among the list are surprising entries, like the crude oil tanker Sanchi.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif late Monday in a tweet called the re-imposition of sanctions a desperate move and said they target ordinary Iranians.

South Korea's presidential spokesman says the US has demonstrated the strength of the two countries' alliance by allowing South Korea to continue importing Iranian crude oil products under reinstated sanctions against Iran.

House Democratic Whip Steny H Hoyer said, "Rather than achieving its stated goal of eliminating Iran's oil exports altogether, the administration has issued "exemptions" for major Iranian oil importers, allowing Iran to earn billions of dollars from oil sale".

This group takes as much as three-quarters of Iran's seaborne oil exports, trade data shows, meaning the Islamic Republic will still be allowed to export some oil for now.

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