The U.S. has not ended the exemption to sanctions for purchases of Iranian oil — received by India and seven other countries last November when sanctions came into effect — following its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or the “Iran Deal”. This was conveyed in an email to The Hindu by a State Department spokesperson. The exemptions were initially meant to last six months and therefore due to expire in March.
“Our policy goal remains to get all countries to stop purchasing Iranian crude as quickly as possible. The U.S. granted significant reduction exemptions [SRE] to China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey in November 2018,” the statement said.
“Each of those jurisdictions had already demonstrated significant reductions of the purchase of Iranian crude over the past six months, and indeed two of those eight already completely ended imports of Iranian crude and will not resume as long as the sanctions regime remains in place. We continue working with the remaining SRE recipients to end imports of Iranian crude.”
It is expected that the exemptions are part of the discussions Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale is having in Washington. Mr. Gokhale met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on March 11 as well as the members of Congress. He also met Under Secretary David Hale on March 12.
Mr. Gokhale and Mr. Hale reviewed the progress made since the 2+2 Ministerial that was held in New Delhi last September, reaffirmed their cooperation towards achieving their joint goals in the Indo-Pacific region, and discussed cross-border terrorism, Iran, DPRK, Venezuela and Afghanistan, according to official statements from the two sides.