Trump Regime Ends Waivers for Purchases of Iranian Oil

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Trump Regime Ends Waivers for Purchases of Iranian Oil

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Unilaterally imposed sanctions by one nation on others are flagrantly illegal. There’s no ambiguity about it.

Law Professor Francis Boyle explained it, saying unilaterally imposed sanctions “constitute a crime against humanity as defined by the 1945 Nuremberg Charter…customary international criminal law, (and) the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

They also violate the UN and Organization of American States Charters. “Venezuela (and Iran) could consider researching (their) options for a lawsuit against the United States at the International Court of Justice,” said Boyle.

Both countries “could also consider a strategy to invoke the 1950 Uniting for Peace Resolution by the UN General Assembly and see if the UNGA is willing to take steps on (their) behalf.”

Boyle expressed concern that the Trump regime might order an illegal naval blockade against Venezuela – possibly Iran as well, to “shut them down completely,” an act of war if imposed.

“Russia has…first-rate international lawyers at the Peoples’ Friendship University, Department of International Law, in Moscow, who could probably help them out,” Boyle explained.

The problem with judicial actions against the US is that their ruling authorities ignore them, doing whatever they please, operating only by their own rules.

Governments everywhere should oppose illegally imposed US sanctions. Most bend to Washington’s will even at the expense of their own interests. 

What can’t go on forever, won’t. Imperial USA is declining, weakened by its extreme hubris, arrogance, and use of an inordinate amount of its wealth on militarism and belligerence for global dominance. 

China, Russia, and other nations are rising, using carrots, not sticks, in relations with other nations, pursuing mutual cooperation globally, a longterm winning strategy – unless US launched nuclear war changes everything, a doomsday scenario if occurs.

On Monday, Mike Pompeo said “(t)oday I am announcing that we will no longer grant any exemptions…from our sanctions” on Iran.

“We’re going to zero – going to zero across the board. We will continue to enforce sanctions and monitor compliance. Any nation or entity interacting with Iran should do its diligence and err on the side of caution. The risks are simply not going to be worth the benefits.”

“…Significant Reduction Exceptions (SREs) (will not be) reissue(d) when they expire” at midnight on May 1.

“The United States, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, three of the world’s great energy producers, along with our friends and allies, are committed to ensuring that global oil markets remain adequately supplied.”

The Trump regime granted eight countries six-month waivers to continue buying Iranian oil. Three of the eight halted imports earlier this year – Italy, Greece and Taiwan. 

WTI and Brent oil prices are at six-month highs in response to Trump regime sanctions on Iran and Venezuela – harming ordinary people in these countries, not their ruling authorities.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang expressed strong opposition to the Trump regime’s illegal action, saying Beijing will defend its legal right to do business with Iran.

“China opposes unilateral sanctions,” he stressed. Cooperation between China and Iran is open, transparent and legal. This must be respected. The Chinese government will do its best to protect the legitimate interests of its companies.”

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Melvut Cavusoglu slammed the Trump regime’s action, saying his country “rejects unilateral sanctions and impositions on how to conduct relations with neighbors.”

Russia intends normal relations with Iran, supporting its legal rights, opposing Trump regime efforts to deny them.

According oil trading advisory firm Ritterbusch and Associates, “complete elimination of Iranian exports is nearly impossible and that a reduction beyond current levels will likely prove limited,” adding:

The overall effect of ending waivers “will hinge to a large degree on the Saudi response to what is likely to be some strong requests from the Trump administration to increase productions appreciably,” no simple task.

Iran intends to circumvent illegal US sanctions by various means, including by eliminating dollar transactions, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif explained, saying:

“The actual mechanism would be to avoid dollars. You can use your own currency. Sell stuff in your own currency. Buy stuff in the other country’s currency, and at the end of a specific period, balance it out in a non-dollar currency. It’s quite possible. And may even be profitable.”

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi called US sanctions illegal, adding “(t)he Islamic Republic of Iran basically considers the granted waivers for sanctions as worthless.” Iran is working with its trading partners to continue normal relations. 

Islamic Republic IRGC navy commander Admiral Alireza Tangsiri said under “international law, the Strait of Hormuz is a waterway, and we will close it (to other countries) in case we are banned from using it,” adding: 

“In case of any threat, we will not hesitate to support and defend Iran’s waters. We will defend our honor and will take reciprocal measures when it comes to protecting Iran’s rights.”

Last December, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani issued a similar statement, saying “(t)he US should know that we are selling and will continue to sell our oil, and it will not be able to block Iran’s oil exports. And it should also know that if it attempts to stop Iran’s oil (sales are made), no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf.”

On Monday, Moussavi said his government is “holding comprehensive consultations with many foreign partners, including Europeans” and regional countries.

A statement will be made on what was discussed ahead. Before today’s US announcement, most European countries stopped buying Iranian oil, operating as US vassal states, most other nations doing the same thing.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.