A presidential determination by the US on Friday asserted that the world can continue to cut back on Iranian petroleum imports, because other major producers are providing enough.
"There currently appears to be sufficient supply of non-Iranian oil to permit foreign countries to reduce significantly their purchases of Iranian oil, taking into account current estimates of demand, increased production by countries other than Iran, inventories of crude oil and petroleum products, and available spare production capacity," read a White House statement.
"In this context, it is notable that many purchasers of Iranian crude oil continue to reduce, or have ceased altogether, their purchases from Iran." President Barack Obama's determination follows a report from October 31 by the Energy Information Administration, which stipulated that "global oil consumption has exceeded production in recent months, though trends stayed in line with seasonal patterns," according to the statement.
The findings also showed that global oil supply disruptions grew, but they "were largely offset by rising oil production from other countries, particularly from the United States and Saudi Arabia.
"While increased Saudi output reduced spare crude production capacity, stable inventory levels and stable oil prices compared with the period a year ago indicate a well-supplied international crude market," noted the statement.
In his determination, Obama said he "will closely monitor this situation to ensure that the market can continue to accommodate a reduction in purchases of petroleum and petroleum products from Iran." Meanwhile, in his own statement on Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that China, India, the Republic of Korea, Turkey, and Taiwan have again qualified for an exception to sanctions on their banking institutions, owing to recent analyses that demonstrated they have significantly reduced their dependence on Iranian oil.
Malaysia, South Africa, Singapore, and Sri Lanka also qualified for exceptions again, now that they no longer purchase Iran's oil.
"I will report to the Congress that exceptions to sanctions for certain transactions will apply to the financial institutions based in these countries for a potentially renewable period of 180 days," said Kerry.
"This is the fourth time that these nine economies have qualified," he added.
"The effectiveness of the international sanctions regime has proven essential in bringing Iran to the table to negotiate and agree to the Joint Action Plan of the P5+1 that, for the first time in nearly a decade, halts the progress of the Iranian nuclear program and rolls it back in key areas," he concluded