US Grants Iran Sanction Waivers to Some Countries, Denies Others

Iraq allowed to keep buying food, natural gas

While the Trump Administration had been insisting for months that they did not intend to grant any waivers for anyone to continue trade with Iran, they have been forced to revise that with Monday’s re-imposition. Both Turkey and Iraq reportedly have been granted sanctions.

Iraqi officials are reporting a significant sanction, which includes allowing them to continue buying food from Iran, as well as natural gas and other energy supplies. The only condition is that Iraq not pay the Iranians in US dollars.

Turkey got their own waiver, in this case specifically on oil. They are one of eight jurisdictions that the US is “temporarily” allowing to continue importing Iranian oil. The others are China, India, South Korea, Italy, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates, along with Taiwan. Though the EU did not get waivers as a whole, they’ve made clear they intend to keep buying from Iran.

Indeed, it’s unclear how the US decided which countries would get waivers and which wouldn’t. That India and China did is particularly significant, as both had already indicated they’d defy US threats even if they didn’t get waivers.

Iranian officials say this underscores what a bad idea the new sanctions are, as the oil waivers show that the world’s economy continues to need access to Iranian crude oil, and even the US cannot afford to see it withdrawn from the market.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of