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U.S. to sanction 5 nations, including Japan, if they import Iranian oil


The Trump administration said Monday that it will no longer exempt any countries from U.S. sanctions if they continue to buy Iranian oil, stepping up pressure on Iran in a move that primarily affects the five remaining major importers: China and India and U.S. treaty allies Japan, South Korea, Turkey.


President Donald Trump made the decision as part of the administration's "maximum pressure" campaign on Iran that aims to eliminate all of its revenue from oil exports that the U.S. says funds destabilizing activity throughout the Middle East and beyond.


But the other five continue to import Iranian oil and had lobbied for their waivers to be extended. NATO ally Turkey has made perhaps the most public case for an extension, with senior officials telling their U.S. counterparts that Iranian oil is critical to meeting their country's energy needs. They have also made the case that as a neighbor of Iran, Turkey cannot be expected to completely close its economy to Iranian goods.


Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu criticized the decision, saying it "will not serve regional peace and stability."

土耳其外長恰武什奧盧(Mevlut Cavusoglu)批評這一決定,稱這“將不利于地區和平與穩定”。 ”

In a message posted on Twitter Monday, Cavusoglu said: "Turkey rejects unilateral sanctions and impositions on how to conduct relations with neighbors." Cavusoglu added the decision would harm the people of Iran. He tagged the U.S. State Department and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on his tweet.


China, one of Iran's largest customers, slammed the step, calling it more evidence of U.S. "unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction." China, which relies on imports for about half of its oil, could present the toughest diplomatic challenge for the U.S. in trying to enforce its sanctions.


Those arguments fell on deaf ears within the administration.


Iran brushed off the decision, calling the sanctions "illegal."


Fannon said the U.S. did not expect any sharp spike in oil prices or any significant reduction in the global supply of oil, given production increases by other countries, including the U.S. itself, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.


Kevin Hassett, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, echoed those comments, although benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 2.4% early Monday after the decision was announced.

美國經濟顧問委員會主席哈塞特(Kevin Hassett)也表達了同樣的看法,不過美國基準原油價格周一早間上漲2.4%。

Hassett told reporters at the White House he's not concerned that the decision will negatively affect oil prices. He said U.S. production has risen in recent years by "more than all of Iranian production" so there is adequate capacity should there be a need for oil supplies. He said the link between oil prices and the U.S. economy has diminished as American oil production has increased.


And, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said in a statement that his country would work with other oil producers "to ensure adequate supplies are available to consumers while ensuring the global oil market does not go out of balance."

此外,沙特能源部長哈立德·法利赫(Khalid Al-Falih)在一份聲明中表示,沙特將與其他產油國合作,“確保消費者獲得充足的供應,同時確保全球石油市場不會失衡。”

Iran hawks on Capitol Hill like Sen Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who had long lobbied for the step, applauded the end of oil waivers.

美國國會中的鷹派人物,如德克薩斯州共和黨參議員特德克魯茲(Ted Cruz),長期以來一直在為這一舉措進行游說。

"This decision will deprive the ayatollahs of billions of dollars that they would have spent undermining the security of the United States and our allies, building up Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs and financing global terrorism," he said.


Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, praised the administration for further tightening sanctions enforcement on Iran, which the Jewish state regards as an existential threat. He said the move "is of great importance for increasing pressure on the Iranian terrorist regime."

與此同時,以色列總理本雅明·內塔尼亞胡(Benjamin Netanyahu)稱贊特朗普政府進一步加強了對伊朗的制裁,這個猶太國家將伊朗視為生存威脅。他說,這一舉動“對增加對伊朗恐怖主義政權的壓力非常重要。”