India hopes for US waiver on Iran

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The Bloomberg report however states that the waivers are temporary and the U.S. "expects" countries that are getting waivers to keep cutting Iranian imports in the coming months.

"We want to achieve maximum pressure but we don't want to harm friends and allies either", Bolton said in a talk at the Hamilton Society.

According to sources in the know, India is close to a deal with the USA that will allow it to continue buying crude oil from Iran without attracting any sanction after it agreed to cut imports and escrow payments.

The Trump administration says it aims for Iranian oil exports to be "as close to zero as possible" but the United States will likely give at least temporary reprieves to countries that cut but do not end purchases.

The administration's decision to issue waivers to eight countries also marked a significant reduction from the Obama administration, which issued such exemptions to 20 countries over three years.

"The waivers granted to these eight countries shows that the market needs Iran's oil and it can not be pulled out of the market".

This would mean 1.25 million tonnes a month up to March 2019, the same as companies ordered for October and November, the source said. They still have to decide on how to split the quantum and on the form of payments, the source said.

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On the one hand, it's unclear how much Iranian oil will really be removed from the market, considering that Iran has already started to switch off transponders on board of some of its cargoes, although ship-tracking data on the tankers that can be tracked shows that Iranian oil exports are falling, but not as steeply as the market and analysts were expecting just a month or two ago.

A waiver will come as a big relief to Indian Oil and MRPL, the two largest Iranian oil consumers.

In the previous round of sanctions India made payments in rupees to Iran's account with UCO bank.

"The U.S. may use waivers to slow-walk implementation, but these will not apply indefinitely", Allen said. India and Iran still have to figure out shipping and insurance details for a smooth trade. They first fell today on surging supplies, before rising with global markets and then dipping again on the back of the reported Iran sanctions waivers. Iran is its third-largest supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia and meets about 10 per cent of total needs.

Hours before he spoke, Iranian President Hassan Rohani warned Iranians they could face more economic hardship in the months ahead as the USA imposes a new round of sanctions.

The Iranian rial has hit record lows against the US dollar in recent months under the threat of revived USA sanctions, with heavy demand for dollars among ordinary Iranians trying to protect their savings. Indian public refineries like Mangalore has also been buying Iranian oil but not in the numbers that they were earlier.

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