How Trump’s hawkish advisors won debate on Iran oil sanctions


How Trump’s hawkish advisors won debate on Iran oil sanctions

U.S. President Donald Trump’s unexpected decision to ban all Iranian oil purchases after May 1 – ending exemptions for eight nations – came after hawkish economic and security advisors allayed the president’s fears of an oil price hike, according to three sources familiar with the internal debate.

The unprecedented move to fully sever Tehran’s financial lifeline – finalized just days before the April 22 announcement – underscores the influence of hard-liners within Trump’s National Security Council, which two of the sources said were the biggest advocates for the decision. They had for months argued for tightening the sanctions over the objections of State Department officials who favored allowing some partners and allies to keep buying Iranian oil.

“No one’s actually tried to take this all the way to zero,” a senior administration official told Reuters, adding that forging a consensus among government agencies required “a lot of work.” Read More

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