The US imposed sanctions on Iranian oil exports in November 2018 following its unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal. At the same time, Washington issued temporary waivers to several countries, allowing them to continue importing Tehran’s crude.
Turkey has resumed imports of Iranian oil, receiving two tankers in December, importing at a rate of some 54,000 barrels per day, Reuters reported. Currently the country is allowed to import up to 60,000 barrels per day under the waiver from the American sanctions, as compared to the roughly 200,000 barrels per day that the country was importing from Iran prior to the imposition of the restrictions in November 2018.
According to Reuters, Turkey had reduced its imports to zero in the months prior to November, but on the very day that the sanctions were imposed, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey would receive temporary 6-month waivers, allowing them to continue buying Iranian crude in limited quantities without being sanctioned by the US.
Washington re-imposed sanctions against Iranian energy companies and banks on 5 November 2018, which were initially lifted under the provisions of the JCPOA. Trump announced in May 2018 that the US would abandon the Iran nuclear deal, which he labelled “flawed at its core”. The move was unilateral, with other signatories slamming Washington for the move and expressing readiness to continue to adhere to the deal.