Mon, 18 Jan 2021

<p>SINGAPORE - U.S. State Department officials say an announcement is to be made on Monday that waivers allowing companies to buy oil from Iran will be terminated.</p><p>The waivers were granted to a number of countries when the U.S. re-imposed sanctions after withdrawing from the 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran.</p><p>China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece all received waivers and are unlikely to be pleased to be told they will no longer be able to do business with Iran.</p><p>In a sign of what may be to come, oil prices soared by about 3% on Monday in anticipation of the announcement.</p><p>The Washington Post revealed the likelihood of the move on Sunday in a report by national security writer Josh Rogin, who quoted two unnamed State Department officials.</p><p>Reuters say they have checked with a State Department source, and confirm the story is accurate.</p><p>Last month Iran was the fourth-biggest producer in OPEC, pumping out 2.75 million barrels a day.</p><p>Analysts spoken to by Reuters were critical of the proposed end to the exemptions.</p><p>&quot;This is not a good policy for Trump,&quot; Takayuki Nogami, chief economist at Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) told the news agency, adding that &quot;concerns over tightening global oil supply and lower excess production capacity are expected to bolster oil prices higher.&quot;</p><p>He added that OPEC&rsquo;s leading producers &quot;Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait will need to boost output to cover the shortfall.&quot;</p>

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