TIL Desk/World/Washington/ US President Donald Trump has defended his decision to give temporary exemptions to eight countries, including India and China, from the ban on Iranian oil imports, saying it was done so to keep global oil prices down and avoid causing a shock to the market.
The US on Monday imposed “the toughest ever” sanctions on a defiant Iran aimed at altering the Iranian regime’s “behaviour”. The sanctions cover Iran’s banking and energy sectors and reinstate penalties for countries and companies in Europe, Asia and elsewhere that do not halt Iranian oil imports.
However, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that eight countries — India, China, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey — were temporarily allowed to continue buying Iranian oil as they showed “significant reduction” in oil purchase from the Persian Gulf country.
“We have the toughest sanctions ever imposed. But on oil, we want to go a little bit slow because I don’t want to drive the oil prices in the world up,” President Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington on Monday before leaving on a campaign trail for the mid-term polls. He, however, emphasised that his effort to keep the oil prices down has nothing to do with Iran.