Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has warned Iranians they face hard times when new US sanctions take effect on Sunday but said the government would do its best to alleviate them.
On the one hand, it's unclear how much Iranian oil will really be removed from the market, considering that Iran has already started to switch off transponders on board of some of its cargoes, although ship-tracking data on the tankers that can be tracked shows that Iranian oil exports are falling, but not as steeply as the market and analysts were expecting just a month or two ago.
According to sources in the know, India is close to a deal with the U.S. that will allow it to continue buying crude oil from Iran without attracting any sanction after it agreed to cut imports and escrow payments.
According to details leaked from waivers talks, India has agreed to reduce Iranian oil imports by about 40 percent below planned levels to about 1.25 million metric tons per month, or about 290,000 barrels per day.
Bloomberg reported that close USA allies South Korea and Japan had received waivers along with India, which relies heavily on supplies from Iran, adding that a list of all countries getting waivers was expected to be released officially on Monday.
India is Iran's top oil client after China and hopes to get a waiver on United States sanctions before they take effect on Sunday (November 4), after significantly reducing its oil imports from Iran.
State-run Indian refiner Hindustan Petroleum said it may resume buying Iranian oil if India secures a waiver from U.S. sanctions, its chairman MK Surana said on Thursday (November 1).
The US will reportedly offer major concessions to Iran that could allow the Islamic Republic to ease the pressure from upcoming economic sanctions.
President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in May, describing it as "defective at its core".
"The United States is in the midst of an internal process to consider significant reduction exceptions for individual countries, but that is only on a case-by-case basis", State Department's Deputy Spokesperson Robert Paladino told reporters. He has released a list of 12 demands that Iran must meet if it wants the sanctions lifted. "I think it's important that we not relax in the effort", he said. The leader said it's possible Iran will face more hard times ahead, but asserted that the government will use all its power to reduce any problems.
On the other hand, it's unclear whether the United States would grant any waivers, with U.S. Administration officials giving mixed signals.
Pompeo said that he is convinced these sanctions are going to have an enormous impact on the Iranian leadership.
Federica Mogherini believes that despite the new rollout of sanctions, trade between Europe and Iran will continue in defiance of Mr. Trump.
"But the people should know with certainty that the government has no fear of American threats".
"And the history, since May, now nearly six months on, is that most European companies are choosing - not surprisingly - to do business with America".
Iran's oil flows to India were 600,000 bpd in September and are estimated at around 500,000 bpd in October, Platts oil flow data suggests.
Currently, India pays its third largest oil supplier in euros using European banking channels.
Previously, Pompeo has said "it is our expectation that the purchases of Iranian crude oil will go to zero from every country or sanctions will be imposed", but also acknowledged that waivers were being negotiated with nations that say crude from the Middle East producer are critical to their energy industry.