Sanctions on Iran Take Effect Today
Oil and financial sanctions proposed by the United States against Iran will go into effect today, adding to the pressure on the Iranian regime to reduce its missile developments and nuclear program. The goal of the sanctions is to not only restore a sense of safety, but to reduce Iran’s expanding military influence in the Middle East.
The sanctions proposed by Washington will restore prior sanctions that were eased in President Barack Obama’s landmark nuclear deal with Iran in 2015, which President Trump has called the “worst ever” agreement negotiated by the U.S. The sanctions will also add 300 new blocks against Iranian shipping and financial industries. Full details of the new sanctions will be released at 8:30 a.m. EST today by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
After its request to Washington for “maximum flexibility” last week, South Korea has received an exemption from the Iranian sanctions which will be adopted by most U.S. allies. On Friday, Washington announced that eight importers will be allowed to continue purchasing Iranian oil. The specific countries, with the exception of South Korea, have not yet been named, but the decision to excuse some countries from the sanctions has brought oil prices under pressure.
Oil prices were lower on Monday, with U.S. WTI futures falling 0.57 percent to $62.78 per barrel, and Brent crude futures falling 0.47 percent to $72.49 per barrel, as of 2:22 p.m. HK/SIN. U.S. WTI futures have eased more than 18 percent since the start of October, and Brent has declined more than 16 percent in the same time period.