The goal of keeping oil prices in check was central to the US decision to grant waivers to the top importers of Iranian crude, President Donald Trump said Monday, as his administration pointed to rising production from the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iraq that will fill an expected global supply gap.
"I could get the Iran oil down to zero immediately but it would cause a shock to the market," President Trump said Monday. "I don't want to lift oil prices. As you've noticed, oil prices are going down very substantially despite the fact that already half of [Iran's] capacity is gone."
US sanctions against Iran's oil buyers went back into force Monday. Eight countries will be allowed to keep importing from Tehran in exchange for making cuts in the past six months and promising to cut further in the next six months.
Comments by Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other officials show that administration officials have been keeping a close eye on oil prices, which spiked in early October in part because of its expected hard-line sanctions enforcement.
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