Stephen Lendman

Up to 10 countries will get waivers from US to buy Iranian oil: Writer

Press TV – Up to ten countries will get waivers from Washington to continue buying Iranian oil and oil related products, says Stephen Lendman, an American journalist, writer and political analyst based in Chicago.

In an interview with Press TV on Tuesday, Lendman said on Friday that “it’s very likely that many countries — I say many — maybe six, maybe eight, maybe ten, will get waivers from Washington to continue buying Iranian oil, and oil related products.”

“And I know the countries: China, Turkey, Japan, and South Korea; I am certain EU countries would be more than eight or ten. The EU has 28 countries. If the EU gets away with keeps buying the Iranian oil then they have been pushing very hard for this,” he stated.

“And this really connects with the SWIT system, because everything to do with Iran, economic or financial operation, the whole thing is really rapped into a single ball. It’s Iran’s economy,” the analyst said.

“Well, America wants to isolate Iran. It’s getting very heavy static for the number of countries. I should have mentioned Russia. Russia is definitely among one of the countries. There’s a proposal that I wrote about Russia, that it is willing to buy Iranian oil, refine it in its refineries, sell it in the open market and reimburse Iran with the revenues it gets. So that’s another way that Iran can get away with the sanctions,” he said.

“I think there are a lot of ways that Iran can get away with the SWIFT system if Washington banned the countries from using it especially if the EU helps Iran. I really believe that the EU would like to have normal relations with Iran. The trouble with the EU is it usually bends to the will of Washington. It says one thing and it will end up being subservient to US interests,” he noted.

The United States on Friday said that the Belgian-based SWIFT global payment network could be hit with American sanctions if it deals with Iranian financial institutions that Washington has blacklisted.

“SWIFT is no different than any other entity,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters on Friday. “We have advised SWIFT that it must disconnect any Iranian financial institutions that we designate as soon as technologically feasible to avoid sanctions exposure.”

Top officials in the US Treasury Department have been pushing for Iran to remain connected to SWIFT.

US President Donald Trump and some other officials have, however, made clear that SWIFT and European countries should end their business with Tehran in a bid to put maximum pressure on the Islamic Republic.

The US plans to impose a second round of sanctions against Iran on Sunday, months after Washington scrapped the 2015 multilateral deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries.

The first round of the sanctions – which had been lifted under the nuclear deal — was re-imposed in August.