With the US ending sanctions exemption to India for importing Iran oil after May 1, Zarif’s trip came three weeks after President Donald Trump decided to squeeze Iran, announcing that the US will no longer grant sanctions exemption to Iran’s oil customers.
The high-level review of the Pentagon’s plans was presented during a meeting about broader Iran policy. It was held days after what the Trump administration described, without evidence, as new intelligence indicating that Iran was mobilizing proxy groups in Iraq and Syria to attack US forces.
The escalation of threats caught the United States’ allies in Europe in the crossfire between Washington and Tehran. And while the announcement by President Hassan Rouhani of Iran did not terminate the landmark nuclear accord that was negotiated by world powers, it put it on life support.
"The sanctions should not be extended because they have an adverse impact on countries benefiting from Iranian oil," Qatar's foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said on Wednesday.
The White House is likely to agree to scale back Iran sanctions waivers if, and only if, Saudi Arabia commits to replacing the lost barrels at least one-for-one to leave the global production-consumption balance unchanged.
The Trump administration has unilaterally reimposed sanctions on Iran's oil exports, the lifeblood of its economy, as it seeks to curb Tehran's nuclear and missile ambitions and its influence Syria and other countries in the Middle East.
Washington gave Iraq a 45-day waiver over imports of Iranian gas when it reimposed sanctions on Iran's oil sector on Nov. 5. Iraqi officials have said they need around two years to wean themselves off Iranian gas imports and find an alternative source.
The case against Meng Wanzhou stems from a 2013 Reuters report about the company's close ties to Hong Kong-based Skycom Tech Co Ltd, which attempted to sell US equipment to Iran despite US and European Union bans.
Iran has accused the CIA of spreading “fake news” about the Islamic republic with newly declassified files seized in the 2011 raid in Pakistan in which Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed. The CIA on Wednesday released 470,000 additional files found in May 2011 when US Navy SEALs burst into Bin Laden’s compound in […]