The Obama Administration has agreed to renew waivers to the European Union and Japan for another six months to allow their banks to bypass US banking sanctions against Iran. The sanctions threaten to cut companies off from US financial markets if they do business in Iran.
Officials say the move reflects administration satisfaction that both are reducing purchases of oil from Iran at a sufficient rate. The EU has a full embargo on Iranian oil, while Japan has reduced purchases significantly, per US demands.
The Obama Administration is keen to see Iranian crude oil exports slow the fastest, but this is also having the largest deleterious effect on the global economy, as oil prices rise worldwide because nations like Japan and South Korea are now biding for the remaining supply instead of buying from Iran.
Japan’s Bankers Association has said as much, issuing a statement earlier this week complaining that the US-imposed limits on oil purchases are putting Japan’s economy in a difficult position, and as they continue to reduce nuclear power generation they will have to buy more and more oil from less and less US-approved sources.