From his perch on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., threw his support behind President Donald Trump’s decision to sanction countries that continue to import oil from Iran.
U.S. Sec. of State Mike Pompeo announced the decision on Monday.
“Today we are announcing the United States will not issue any additional Significant Reduction Exceptions to existing importers of Iranian oil,” Pompeo said. “The Trump administration has taken Iran’s oil exports to historic lows, and we are dramatically accelerating our pressure campaign in a calibrated way that meets our national security objectives while maintaining well supplied global oil markets. We stand by our allies and partners as they transition away from Iranian crude to other alternatives. We have had extensive and productive discussions with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other major producers to ease this transition and ensure sufficient supply. This, in addition to increasing U.S. production, underscores our confidence that energy markets will remain well supplied.
“Today’s announcement builds on the already significant successes of our pressure campaign, Pompeo added. “We will continue to apply maximum pressure on the Iranian regime until its leaders change their destructive behavior, respect the rights of the Iranian people, and return to the negotiating table.”
Rubio cheered the news and noted that Iran is increasingly cracking down on human rights and backing terrorism.
“The Trump administration’s decision today to stop issuing waivers for sanctions against nations importing Iranian crude oil is long overdue,” Rubio said. “I’ve long supported ensuring the United States imposes maximum pressure against the regime in Tehran, including by ending all sanctions waivers to foreign countries buying Iranian crude oil and other petroleum products due to Iran’s escalating support for international terrorism and its systemic and egregious abuses of human rights.
“The administration should now also end sanctions waivers for foreign countries engaged in civil nuclear cooperation with Iran, especially after revelations that the Iranian regime cheated on the nuclear deal by maintaining a secret ‘Atomic Archive’ for building a nuclear weapon on short notice,” Rubio added.
Kevin Derby can be reached at Kevin.Derby@floridadaily.com.