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U.S. not looking to grant further Iran oil sales waivers: U.S. official

Reuters  |  ABU DHABI 

(Reuters) - The is not looking to grant more waivers for Iranian imports after the reimposition of U.S. sanctions, the for said on Saturday, underlining Washington's push to choke off Tehran's income.

"We are not looking to grant any waivers or exemptions to the import of Iranian crude," told a industry conference in the capital

granted waivers to eight major buyers of Iranian - including China, India, and - after restoring in November.

Hook declined to say what the administration in would do when those waivers end in May.

"is now increasingly feeling the economic isolation that our sanctions are imposing ... We do want to deny the regime revenues," Hook said.

"Eighty percent of Iran's revenues come from exports and this is (the) number one state sponsor of terrorism ... We want to deny this regime the money it needs," he added.

Tensions between and the have increased since May, when U.S. abandoned a 2015 nuclear deal between and major powers, saying the accord was flawed in Tehran's favour, and reintroduced sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the pact.

"We want a new and better deal (with Iran) but in that process we are denying the Iranian regime billions and billions of dollars and they are facing a liquidity crisis," Hook said.

The Islamic Republic, he added, would not return to the negotiating table without pressure.

has refused to renegotiate its nuclear accord and says its ballistic missile programme - another source of concern for and its regional allies such as and - is solely defensive and untouchable.

Hook said Washington was pleased with cutting its from Iran, and that he expected much deeper reductions in Iranian "We are just getting started," he said.

Iran's crude exports will be severely curtailed for a third month in January as it struggles to find new buyers amid the sanctions, according to tanker data and industry sources.

Separately, Omani told the conference that Washington had not asked the Gulf Arab state to stop a with Iran and that talks were continuing.

He said some partners for the project had pulled out because of the risk of punishment by Washington for dealing with Iran but that some other Asian firms were willing to take part.

(Reporting by and Maha El Dahan; Writing by Dubai newsroom; Editing by and Kirsten Donovan)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, January 12 2019. 17:51 IST