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State Department Leaves Door Open to Iran Oil Import Exemptions

  • Waivers will be considered on ‘case-by-case’ basis: official
  • Comments soften vow to get to ‘zero’ oil sales by November
Short-Term Oil Glut Softens Iran Sanctions Impact -- For Now
Photographer: Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg

The U.S. will grant waivers “on a case-by-case basis” so countries can buy Iranian oil after American sanctions are reimposed, a State Department official said, softening the Trump administration’s stance as it seeks to isolate the Islamic Republic after quitting the Iran nuclear deal.

Brian Hook, the State Department’s director of policy planning, said three times at a briefing Monday that the U.S. isn’t “looking” to make any exceptions for countries that import Iranian oil after the Nov. 4 date the U.S. has set for when sanctions will snap back into place. But he suggested countries that are reducing oil imports from Iran could get relief.