US will temporarily grant eight countries waivers to continue importing Iranian oil

This comes as the US treads the line between sanctions on Iran and potential oil supply disruptions

Fear and speculation surrounding US sanctions against Iran led to an increase in oil prices to a four-year peak in early October.
Fear and speculation surrounding US sanctions against Iran led to an increase in oil prices to a four-year peak in early October.

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Friday that eight "jurisdictions" would be temporarily allowed to continue importing Iranian oil. The term 'jurisdiction' could include importers that the US does not recognise as countries, Reuters reports, like Taiwan.

The expected oil supply cuts from sanctions led to speculation and a four-year high in the price of Brent crude in early October. Iran's production could be cut by as much as 2mn barrels per day (bpd), which would be a large margin for OPEC to fill.

Turkey's energy minister told reporters on Friday that it would receive a waiver from the US. Turkey is a major importer of Iranian oil, and depends on imports to meet energy demand. Reuters reported that Iraq will also receive a waiver, but cannot pay Iran in US dollars.

India and South Korea will also reportedly receive waivers, and Bloomberg reports that India's payments for Iranian oil would "go into a local escrow account, which can be used for barter trade with the Middle East producer." This would allow the US to continue to apply economic pressure on Iran, as it would lose revenue.

The US has not officially announced the countries that will receive waivers, or the terms of those waivers. 

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