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South Korea to extend U.S. exemption to buy Iranian crude oil

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | April 24, 2019
South Korea will send a team of officials to the United States to try to extend the exemptions that allow the import of Iranian oil without facing sanctions, suspended by Washington, said the foreign ministry.
South Korea export
Asia   South Korea will send a team of officials to the United States
The U.S. government confirmed this week before the end of the prerogatives by which several countries, including South Korea, buy Iranian crude by circumventing the sanctions, a measure that according to analysts seeks to strangle the income of Tehran.

Donald Trump's administration demanded that all Persian oil importers suspend their acquisitions before May 1 or they would face the established sanctions.

The South Korean negotiating team will be led by Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Yun Kang-hyeon, who will discuss ways to extend the permit with his U.S. counterpart, a Seoul Foreign Ministry official said.

The objective of the talks will be to consult with the U.S. side on the cancellation of approval to buy Iranian crude oil, granted in November last year, said the source of the foreign ministry cited by the Yonhap agency.

Yesterday, the South Korean government said in a statement issued just after Washington's announcement that it will continue its efforts until the May deadline to extend the deadline for exemptions.

According to local media, this measure has generated concern in the country, one of the largest Asian importers of Iranian oil.

The new restrictions could represent a severe blow to the South Korean petrochemical industry, highly dependent on Persian crude oil derivatives.

In November last year, the United States granted exemptions for six months to China, India, Japan, South Korea, the island of Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece in exchange for gradually reducing their purchases of fuel from Tehran.

Several countries, including the Iranian, Chinese and Turkish governments, criticized the White House's decision and questioned its extraterritorial nature and the economic damage it will cause.