US officials divided over Iran access to swift

The Kiira EV Smack was built by students of Makerere University. FILE

US sanctions will target Iran's crude oil exports from November 4, and Washington has been putting pressure on governments and companies worldwide to cut their imports to zero.

None of the Iranian crude exported in the first week of October is heading for Europe, according to the Refinitiv data.

Although US sanctions against Iran begin on November 5, the US State Department is reportedly looking at reduction waivers for individual countries - with India cited - to give them more time to replace oil imports from Iran.

Iran is India's third-largest oil supplier behind Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

"Any country that makes such claims. just wants to display its support for the United States sanctions against Iran", Zanganeh was quoted as saying. "We do not know if we will get waiver (from U.S. sanctions) or not".

U.S. sanctions against Iran will kick in from 4 November, which will block payment routes.

Both Iran and Russian Federation have condemned the Trump administration for withdrawing from the deal, a move that will reimpose USA sanctions suspended under the accord to choke off the Iranian economy. Last applied from 2012 to 2015, the sanctions are in retaliation for Iran's supposed nuclear proliferation program.

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Some energy market analysts expect around 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) to disappear once US sanctions against Iran come into force, while others have warned as much as 2 million bpd could come offline over the coming months.

On Monday, British daily the Financial Times said European finance ministers will meet US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Bali this week and pressure him on allowing Iran to have access to SWIFT.

UCO Bank had in the previous round of sanctions handled rupee payments. "It's certainly not the opinion of President Trump, it's not what he told them to do, and it's not how Congress is going to proceed moving forward".

SWIFT leaders were in Washington, D.C., last week holding meetings with Trump administration officials to ensure that Iran retains its access to the global banking system. Zanganeh said such remarks had no "real impact on the market" but were part of a psychological war against Iran, Reuters reports. "Any country that makes such claims... just wants to display its support to the U.S. sanctions against Iran", Zanganeh said.

Oil has been supported by concern that the Iranian export loss will leave a thinner margin of unused production capacity to deal with supply shocks.

He argues that it would put in jeopardy projects such as Chabahar Port in south-eastern Iran which India sees as both an entry channel for Afghanistan and counter-balance to the nearby Chinese-built Gwadar port just across the border in south-western Pakistan. "This time Europe is not working with the USA, so we intend to evolve a mechanism".


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