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US will sanction any country that imports Iranian oil: US special envoy

American special envoy for Iran Brian Hook has said the United States will sanction any country that imports oil from the Islamic Republic and there are no exemptions in this regard.

“We will sanction any imports of Iranian crude oil… There are right now no oil waivers in place,” Brian Hook said on Friday in London when asked about the sale of Iranian crude to Asia.

He added that the United States would investigate reports of Iranian crude going to China.

“We will sanction any illicit purchases of Iranian crude oil,” he told reporters.

US President Donald Trump on Monday announced new sanctions against Iran targeting Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and top commanders of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

Trump said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the Tehran’s recent downing of a surveillance US drone by the IRGC. He said the Leader was ultimately responsible for what Trump called “the hostile conduct of the regime.”

Iran on Tuesday warned that the new US sanctions meant “closing the doors of diplomacy” between Tehran and Washington.

Meanwhile, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday denounced the Trump administration as being “afflicted by mental retardation.”

Rouhani also called the sanctions against the Leader “outrageous and idiotic.”

The Trump administration said on April 22 that, in a bid to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero, buyers of Iranian oil must stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions. The move ended six months of waivers, which allowed Iran’s eight biggest buyers — Turkey, China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan — to continue importing limited volumes.

The United States’ insistence on zeroing out Iran’s oil exports has cause many problems in the global market, keeping confused both experts and buyers as they look straight into what is shaping up to be a chaotic chapter for the petroleum industry.

This is while China and several other major purchasers of Iranian oil have already complained to the US about the decision.