The Trump administration is poised to tell five nations, including allies Japan, South Korea, and Turkey, that they will no longer be exempt from US sanctions if they continue to import oil from Iran, officials said Sunday. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to announce on Monday that the administration will not renew sanctions waivers for the five countries when they expire on May 2, three US officials tell the Washington Post. The others are China and India. It was not immediately clear if any of the five would be given additional time to wind down their purchases or if they would be subject to US sanctions on May 3 if they do not immediately halt imports of Iranian oil, the AP reports.
The officials were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of Pompeo's announcement. The decision not to extend the waivers was finalized on Friday by President Trump, according to the officials. They said it is intended to further ramp up pressure on Iran by strangling the revenue it gets from oil exports. The administration granted eight oil sanctions waivers when it re-imposed sanctions on Iran after Trump pulled the US out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal. Since November, three of the eight—Italy, Greece, and Taiwan—have stopped importing oil from Iran. The other five, however, have not, and have lobbied for their waivers to be extended. Reuters reports that news of the US plan caused oil prices to jump 3% to their highest level this year. (Read more Iran sanctions stories.)