(FILES) This file photo taken on March 12, 2017 shows a view of an oil facility in the Khark Island, on the shore of the Gulf. AFP / ATTA KENARE
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The Trump administration's top diplomat has indicated the United States might grant waivers to some countries allowing them to continue importing Iranian crude when sanctions snapback in November.r If the administration's target is not zero oil exports, how much crude does the United States plan to allow Iran's customers to purchase without imposing financial penalties on them?The tougher the U.S. sanctions, the more they reduce Iran's oil export revenues, the more economic incentives that the other foreign powers may need to offer Iran to persuade the country to abide by the agreement.There may therefore be a link between the waiver process between the United States and Iran's refining customers on the one hand, and the negotiations the Europeans, Russia and China are holding with Iran on the other.China is one of the largest importers of oil from both the United States and Iran.The country might actually increase oil imports from Iran to express its displeasure with the United States and diversify its crude supply.China has so far matched U.S. actions at each step of the bilateral trade dispute, but it has not sought to escalate the conflict, so the country may try to avoid the provocation of increasing oil imports from Iran.
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