EIB chief backs EU's Iran policy but says bank can not invest there

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin

During his stay in New Delhi, Araqchi also held talks with Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Shri M.J. Akbar.

Some of Europe's biggest firms rushed to do business with Iran after the nuclear deal took effect three years ago.

The day-long discussions were led by Marshall Billingslea, assistant secretary for terrorist financing in the USA treasury department on the American side and by officials from the petroleum and foreign ministries on the Indian side, two people familiar with the developments separately confirmed.

"We want people to reduce oil purchases to Zero, but in certain cases if people can't do that overnight, we'll consider exceptions", Secretary Mnuchin told reporters Friday, clarifying some USA officials' comments that there would be no exemptions.

The EU asked Washington to grant exemptions to European companies, however the USA government has rejected the appeal, saying exemptions would be made only if they benefited US national security.

Billingslea's visit follows close on the heels of the visit by Iran's Araghchi, who had expressed the view that there was a stronger possibility for India to insulate its ties with Iran this time given that European countries were also opposed to the U.S. imposing sanctions on Tehran.

The filing claims that the USA pullout from the 2015 deal "has violated and continued to violate multiple provisions" of the Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations and Consular Rights, signed in 1955, the ICJ said.

"Our goal is to increase pressure on the Iranian regime by reducing to zero its revenue on crude oil sales", said State Department Director of Policy Planning Brian Hook.

The US in certain cases will consider waivers for countries that need more time to wind down imports of oil from Iran as it seeks to avoid disrupting global oil markets while reimposing sanctions against Tehran, US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

Three Hamas militants killed as Israel strikes targets 'throughout Gaza'
It later said "fighter jets commenced a wide-scale attack against Hamas military targets throughout the Gaza Strip". Israeli military officials said a "terrorist squad" fired at troops, killing one soldier.

Saudi Arabia has reaffirmed that OPEC would use its spare capacity to offset the loss of the Iranian exports. Iran supplied 18.4 million tonnes of crude oil between April 2017 and January 2018.

Iranian oil exports - they are the world's sixth largest - have been of particular importance to global market stability.

Sources said that two VLCCs carrying Iranian crude, both loaded in early July, are now heading to Japan and set to arrive in late July.

Japanese refiners have said they will look at alternative supplies from other Middle Eastern oil producers, including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, as well as from West Africa, to make up for Iranian oil grades when necessary.

Sources said that Japanese shipping companies did not plan to change their cautious approach after hearing Pompeo's statement about potential sanctions relief.

Iran responded to those remarks by saying it would not be Iran that would call the U.S., but Trump would call Iran.

Under nuclear deal Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran. This is what India had followed, winning it exemptions, he said. "It's very important for the USA to get India on board with the sanctions policy".

The government is yet to take a decision on cutting import of oil from Iran in compliance with the U.S. sanctions.

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