Strike Alert: US threatens imposition of sanctions on countries that buy Iranian oil

In November 2018, the US government granted waivers known as Significant Reduction Exemptions (SREs) to eight countries that had committed to significantly reducing the purchase of Iranian oil: China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey (pursuant to Section 1245 of the National Defense Authorization Act 2012). The SREs, which were granted for 180 days, expired on 2 May 2019.

The US government has confirmed that the SREs will not be renewed, which is part of their policy to bring maximum pressure to bear against Iran in order to reduce the export of Iranian oil to zero.

On 20 May 2019, Brian Hook - the US Special Representative for Iran - warned that the US will sanction any country that buys oil from Iran. This includes the purchase of oil by the eight countries that were previously granted SREs.

A copy of the US State Department Press Briefing with Mr. Hook can be found on the here.