Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that the US will consider exemption requests from the sanctions being introduced on 4 November to prevent Iran from exporting oil.
“There will be a handful of countries that come to the United States and ask for relief from that. We’ll consider it,” Pompeo said, according to an interview with Sky News Arabia in Abu Dhabi that was released by the US State Department.
Pompeo did not name any countries.
His statement is the first time a senior administration official has said sanctions may be waived.
A series of US teams have been dispatched by Washington to more than a dozen countries to seek their compliance with the sanctions. China, India and Turkey have all suggested they may not obey.
Pompeo said that any country not granted a waiver and refusing to fall in line will be liable for severe penalties.
“Come 4 November, there will be a US sanction that prevents crude oil from passing from Iran to other countries,” he said. “It will be [a] sanctionable activity. We will enforce those sanctions.”
US President Donald Trump recently asked Saudi Arabia to pump 2 million more barrels a-day (b/d) in order to compensate for lower exports from Iran and prevent a global spike in oil prices.
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