In an effort to increase economic pressure on Iran, the US announced it's ending waivers for countries importing Iran oil.

Iran Press/America: The Trump administration announced on Monday that the United States will not be renewing waivers for several countries that were previously exempt from US sanctions on Iranian oil imports. 

"US President Donald Trump has decided not to reissue Significant Reduction Exceptions (SREs) when they expire in early May," the White House said in a statement ahead of a press conference by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Reuters reported.

"This decision is intended to bring Iran's oil exports to zero, denying Iran its principal source of revenues," it added. 

Pompeo also told five countries, including US allies Japan, South Korea, and Turkey, that they will no longer be exempt from US sanctions if they continue importing oil from Iran after May 2 when their waivers are set to expire. The other countries include China and India.

It was not immediately clear if any of the five would be given additional time to wind down their purchases or if they would be subject to US sanctions on May 3 if they do not immediately halt imports of Iranian oil.

The US, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates "have agreed to take timely action to assure that global demand is met as all Iranian oil is removed from the market," the White House said. 

The decision to not extend the waivers, which was first reported by the Washington Post, was finalized on Friday by Trump, according to officials speaking to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

They said it is intended to further ramp up pressure on Iran by strangling the revenue it gets from oil exports.

US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo reportedly told a group of Iranian American community leaders that the US is not seeking a regime change in Iran through direct military intervention.

Pompeo also reportedly told the group that there are no guarantees US sanctions would not hurt the people of Iran, according to Axios.

On May 2018, the US President Donald Trump withdrew from 2015 multilateral nuclear agreementJoint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and re-imposed the sanctions that had been lifted under the accord.

Washington reinstated a series of unilateral sanctions against Iran in early August and re-impose a second batch in November which as Trump said the goal was to bring Iranian oil export to zero.

But for neutralizing oil market shock and stopping rising oil prices, Washington grant waivers to eight Iranian oil buyers when the sanctions on oil imports started in November. Exceptions granted for up to 180 days.105/201/213


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