The United States has warned the international community not to test Washington’s resolve vis-à-vis the international sanctions it imposed on the Islamic Republic of Iran. During a press briefing at the U.S. State Department, the Administration’s Special Representative for Iran alerted nations around the world to remain alert of the risks of doing business with the Islamic Republic, including with its maritime shipping industry that is a key component in Tehran’s efforts to preserve its oil exports. The American envoy underscored that the world’s compliance was imperative to pressure Tehran’s energy sector, which subsequently finances the Ayatollah regime’s malign activities. “These sanctions are critical to our maximum pressure campaign. Iran’s energy sector accounts for up to 80 percent of the country’s income from exports. The regime uses this revenue to support its terrorist militias, fund missile proliferation, and sustain its revolutionary exploits that destabilize the Middle East,” US Special Representative for Iran.
With regard to oil waivers the United States granted to eight nations around the world, the Administration’s representative emphasized that the United States leads its actions in a responsible manner that advances its national security objective while at the same time it avoid harming its economy and that of its international partners. “We have an adequately supplied oil market. We have to ensure that we advance our national security objectives while we do not injure our economic interests. If we were to increase the price of oil, it would be bad for American consumers, it would be bad for the global economy, and it would give an advantage to Iran. Now, we foresee in 2019 that we will have more supply than demand, and that puts us in a much better position to bring countries – all countries importing Iranian crude to zero. So that’s our target,” U.S. Special Representative for Iran Hook Brian said.
Earlier in the day, U.S. President Donald Trump hosted a Press Conference on the outcome of the United States’ Mid-term election. In response to a question on a statement made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – in which he stressed that Ankara would not abide by the United States sanctions regime against the Islamic Republic – President Trump emphasized that the waivers were granted to several countries for the purpose of global stability. Nevertheless, the President emphasized that “the sanctions will get tougher as time goes by.” “So rather than deciding to be as tough as I am on most of the sanctions, what I’ve done is I said ‘we’re not going to do it that way, we’re going to let some of the oil go out to these countries that really do need it. Because I don’t want to drive the oil prices up to 100 or 150 dollars, but which could happen very easily. It’s a very fragile market, very, very fragile. I know it very well and it’s the absolute right decision and they’ll get tougher as time goes by. Maybe. But I don’t want to have any effect on the oil prices worldwide where I drive them up. Because I consider that to be a tax and I don’t like taxes,” US President Trump said.