Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
New Year’s SALE: Up to 40% OFF InvestingPro+ CLAIM OFFER

Mnuchin says it will be harder for Iran oil importers to get waivers

Commodities Oct 21, 2018 11:40AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Mnuchin speaks during a news conference at the G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers in Buenos Aires
 
CL
+0.26%
Add to/Remove from Watchlist
Add to Watchlist
Add Position

Position added successfully to:

Please name your holdings portfolio
 

By Lesley Wroughton

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday it will be harder for countries to get waivers on Iran oil sanctions than during the Obama administration and dismissed concerns that oil prices could rise, saying the market had already factored in the losses.

In an interview with Reuters in Jerusalem at the start of a Middle East trip, Mnuchin said countries would have to reduce their purchases of Iranian oil by more than the roughly 20 percent level they did from 2013 to 2015 to get waivers.

"I would expect that if we do give waivers it will be significantly larger reductions," said Mnuchin.

He added: "Oil prices have already gone up, so my expectation is that the oil market has anticipated what's going on in the reductions. I believe the information is already reflected in the price of oil," he said.

His comments come two weeks before the Trump administration reimposes oil and financial sanctions against Iran after President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 deal between Iran and six world powers, which aimed to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.

Iran's oil exports could fall by as much as two-thirds due to the sanctions, straining oil markets.

Mnuchin was adamant that countries would eventually have to cut imports to nil.

"I don't expect we will get to zero in November but I do expect we will eventually get to zero," he said, adding, "There have been already very significant reductions in advance of this date."

His comments come as the administration actively considers waivers on sanctions it will reimpose for countries that are reducing their imports of Iranian oil.

The administration withdrew from a deal over Tehran's nuclear program in May and is unilaterally reimposing sanctions on Iran's crude oil consumers after Nov. 4.

The sanctions aim to force Tehran to stop its involvement in regional conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Iraq and halt its ballistic missile program.

Iran says it has abided by the 2015 nuclear deal, which was struck with five other world powers, besides the United States.

While Iran believes that it can ward off severe economic damages from the U.S. sanctions for the remainder of Trump's term, Mnuchin predicted a significant impact on its economy as major companies exit the Iranian market for fear of U.S. reprisals.

"We have already begun to see the impact and my expectation is we will see a significantly larger impact once the sanctions go into place," he said, "The economic squeeze will be very big over the next two years."

SWIFT NEGOTIATIONS

Mnuchin said the U.S. Treasury was in negotiations with Belgian-based financial messaging service SWIFT, that facilitates the bulk of the world's cross-border money transactions, on disconnecting Iran from the network.

Washington has been pressuring SWIFT to cut Iran from the system as it did in 2012 before the nuclear deal.

Although the United States does not hold a majority on SWIFT's board of directors, the Trump administration could impose penalties on SWIFT unless it disconnects from Iran.

"I can assure you our objective is to make sure that sanctioned transactions do not occur whether it's through SWIFT or any other mechanism," he said, "Our focus is to make sure that the sanctions are enforced."

Mnuchin declined to give details of the talks with SWIFT executives.

He said, however, that the Treasury Department would identify "as quickly as possible" banks that would be allowed to process transactions for humanitarian funding to Iran.

"We want to get to the right outcome, which is cutting off transactions," he said, declining to comment on which banks would be selected.

Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called in August for a SWIFT-style system independent of Washington that would possibly keep the nuclear agreement with Iran alive.

Mnuchin says it will be harder for Iran oil importers to get waivers
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.
  • Any comment you publish, together with your investing.com profile, will be public on investing.com and may be indexed and available through third party search engines, such as Google.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (2)
Red Hot Scorpion
Red Hot Scorpion Oct 21, 2018 6:49PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Mor*ns, teaching world how to do business without dollar.
Jan Buyle
Jan Buyle Oct 21, 2018 4:40PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
But Saudi killers can go on rigth?
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email