By Mary Jane Maxwell
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on April 22 that the United States will end all exceptions for countries currently purchasing oil from Iran.
“We will no longer grant any exceptions. We’re going to zero … across the board, “Pompeo said.
The secretary said the U.S. is fulfilling its promise to get Iran’s oil exports to zero and deny the regime the revenue it needs to fund terrorism and violent wars abroad.
Countries that previously purchased Iran’s crude oil have been transitioning to new suppliers. “We stand by our allies and partners as they transition away from Iranian crude to other alternatives,” the secretary said.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and other oil-producing countries are committed to ensuring that global oil markets remain adequately supplied, Pompeo said.
Those that continue to import oil from Iran risk losing access to the U.S. financial system and the ability to do business with the United States or U.S. companies.
Pompeo emphasized that targeting Iran’s oil exports is critical because oil exports have historically been the regime’s single largest source of revenue, which it uses to support terrorist proxies, fuel its missile development and engage in other destabilizing behavior.
Iran’s oil exports have plummeted since the United States withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018. Since that time, over 1.5 million barrels of Iranian oil a day have been taken off the market.
U.S. sanctions have denied the regime direct access to more than $10 billion in oil revenue since May, a loss of at least $30 million a day in oil revenues alone.
“We will continue to apply maximum pressure on the Iranian regime until its leaders change their destructive behavior, respect the rights of the Iranian people, and return to the negotiating table.” Pompeo said.
The announcement follows the State Department’s April designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization. Both demonstrate “the United States commitment to disrupting Iran’s terror network and changing the regime’s malign behavior,” the White House said in an April 22 statement.