Middle East

Israeli PM hails US move to ratchet up pressure on Iran

Washington announces plans to end temporary exemptions for countries that purchase Iranian oil

Ali Abo Rezeg   | 22.04.2019
Israeli PM hails US move to ratchet up pressure on Iran


TEL AVIV

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday welcomed U.S. President Donald Trump's decision not to renew temporary waivers allowing certain countries to continue purchasing Iranian oil.

Describing Trump's decision as one of “great importance”, Netanyahu said that the move would serve to ratchet up pressure on the “terrorist regime” in Tehran.

In a statement, the Israeli PM asserted: “We support the U.S. commitment to fighting Iranian aggression, and this is the right way to confront it.”

Earlier Monday, Washington announced plans to end all temporary exemptions for countries that buy Iranian oil.

The move comes as part of the White House’s policy of exerting “maximum pressure” on Iran with a view to bringing the country’s petroleum revenue to zero.

Last November, the Trump administration re-imposed sanctions on Iran’s oil sector after pulling the U.S. out of a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and the P5+1 group of nations (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany).

The administration then granted temporary waivers (known as “significant reduction exceptions”) to eight oil-importing countries so as to allow them to gradually reduce their dependence on Iranian oil.

Along with Turkey, those countries to have received exemptions include China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

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