Three of eight importers granted waivers by Washington to buy oil from Iran have now cut their shipments to zero, a US official claimed, adding that improved global oil market conditions would help reduce Iranian crude exports further.

Iran Press/America: “In November, we granted eight oil waivers to avoid a spike in the price of oil. I can confirm today three of those importers are now at zero,” Brian Hook, the special US envoy for Iran, told reporters on Tuesday.

Hook did not identify the three importers of Iranian oil, according to a Reuters report.

Hook claimed that US oil sanctions against Iran had removed about 1.5 million barrels of Iranian oil exports from the market since May 2018.

According to experts, the US can't completely remove Iran's oil exports from the market because the loss of Iranian crude would result in a politically unpalatable increase in oil prices.

In May 2018, the US President Donald Trump withdrew from 2015 multilateral nuclear agreementJoint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and re-imposed 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, with the goal of reducing Iran's oil exports to zero.

But in order to avoid an oil market shock and stop rising oil prices, Washington granted waivers to eight Iranian oil buyers when the sanctions on oil imports started in November. The waivers were granted for up to 180 days.

Oil hits 2019 high, Brent nears $70 per barrel

Oil prices rose for a fourth day on Wednesday, with support from OPEC-led supply cuts and US sanctions.

Brent futures rose 35 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $69.72 a barrel by 0207 GMT, after earlier reaching $69.87, the highest since Nov. 12 and within touching distance of $70.

US West Texas Intermediate crude rose 22 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $62.80 cents a barrel, earlier rising to $62.90, the highest since 7 November 2018. 



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