New York, NY, United States (VOA) – Oil prices reached a six-month high Tuesday after the Trump administration announced it would no longer exempt countries from U.S. sanctions, if they continue to buy Iranian crude oil, a move aimed at imposing a complete oil embargo on Iran.
Waivers granted to eight countries, including big Iranian crude importers China, India, Japan, Turkey and South Korea, are due to expire on May 2.
RBC Capital Markets, a global investment bank, has told clients it anticipates a loss of 700,000 to 800,000 barrels of oil a day from markets as a consequence of the waivers-withdrawal.
That will tighten oil supplies as seasonal demand picks up in the Northern Hemisphere, forcing importers to seek alternative supplies, a search made more challenging with production falling off in Venezuela and Libya because of domestic unrest and conflict.
U.S. sanctions were snapped back on Iran last year when President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal, signed by his predecessor Barack Obama, in which Tehran agreed to nuclear curbs in return for sanctions relief.
The European Union has been at loggerheads with Washington over Iran and the nuclear deal, which the Trump administration fears only delays Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
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