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How Trump's Stifling of Iran Waivers Affects the OPEC+ Oil Cuts

A worker passes stores of oil drums and gas flares while working aboard an offshore oil platform in the Persian Gulf's Salman Oil Field, operated by the National Iranian Offshore Oil Co., near Lavan island, Iran, on Friday, Jan. 6. 2017. 
Photographer: Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg
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The U.S. is ending waivers that let countries buy Iranian crude without running afoul of sanctions, threatening to squeeze oil supplies in an already tight market. The decision may also jeopardize the deal that OPEC and allied suppliers including Russia reached to limit output until the end of June to buttress crude and avert a glut. The producers are to meet next month to assess the market and again in June to decide whether to extend cuts.

Washington said it won’t renew exemptions from U.S. sanctions for buyers of Iranian crude after the waivers expire on May 2. The announcement on Monday marks a reversal from last November when the U.S. granted waivers to eight importers as it sought to damp fuel prices ahead of mid-term Congressional elections. The decision is aimed at reducing Iran’s oil exports to zero.