In this Jan. 22, 2014, file photo, a partially constructed gas refinery at the South Pars gas field is seen on the northern coast of the Gulf in Asalouyeh, Iran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)
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The Trump administration was caught between allies at home and abroad and the reality of global economics as it reinstated sanctions Monday on Iran, forced to carve out exemptions for important allies and back off on measures that could have been even more punishing for Tehran. The U.S. granted waivers to allow China and seven close U.S. partners and allies to continue importing Iranian crude and other petroleum products without penalty, bowing to concerns that a complete end to Iran's exports would cause a major spike in world oil prices and cause other economic disruptions. Seoul says it will reduce oil imports from Iran by a "significant" amount but the waiver will allow it to maintain a stable supply of a light form of crude known as condensate.Seeking to deflect criticism from some Iran hawks concerned that the sanctions don't go far enough, Pompeo stressed that U.S. pressure on countries to stop buying Iranian oil had already reduced its exports by more than a million barrels of crude per day costing the country $2.5 billion revenue.Some leading Iran hawks appeared to agree with the administration's approach.
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