File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )
Waivers had previously been in place allowing for several countries, reliant on importing Iranian oil, to continue buying it in spite of sanctions
Quoting Brian Hook, Russia Today reported that the remarks came after Washington announced new sanctions directly targeting the Iranian leadership on Monday, in which the Trump administration said it will enforce penalties on those who violate previous restrictions as well.
"We will sanction any imports of Iranian crude oil... There are right now no oil waivers in place," Hook said when asked about continued sales of Iranian crude in Asia.
Waivers had previously been in place allowing for several countries, reliant on importing Iranian oil, to continue buying it in spite of sanctions.
Hook explicitly mentioned reports that Iran`s largest buyer, China, has received at least one shipment since its sanctions waiver was revoked, reiterating: "We will sanction any illicit purchases of Iranian crude oil."
China has been highly critical of the decision to cancel the waivers, and they are not the only ones opposed to Washington`s obstinate measures in the international community.
The European Union continues to make accommodating efforts in order to convince Iran to keep adhering to the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal, despite the US` unceremonious withdrawal.
The EU is expected to announce a multi-million dollar credit line to help ease trade next week.
Although the recent outbreak of hostilities began with US President Donald Trump`s decision to pull out of the deal last year, Hook told reporters that it was Iran who had "rejected diplomacy too many times."
In addition, Tehran`s threat to increase the output of low enriched uranium, breaching the stockpile limit mandated under the nuclear deal in retaliation to the US approach, further triggered Washington to obstruct Iranian oil exports amid heightened the tension between the two countries.