India to buy 12 percent less Iran oil in April versus March

Iran warns of firm response if Israel acts against oil shipments

Peyman offered to "continue to closely consult on the extension of sanctions exemption and Korean companies' technical issues regarding trade with Iran", Seoul's foreign ministry said in a statement.

The sources said the U.S. could achieve this by urging the importing countries (including the biggest buyers China and India) to reduce their purchases in an exchange for the USA sanctions waivers.

While U.S. crude oil production growth is mostly light crude grades, as opposed to the heavy crudes of Venezuela and Iran, gushing American output has still been capping oil prices.

Iranian officials have threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route in the Gulf, if the United States attempts to stop the Islamic Republic's oil exports. "We are in talks with them and let's see what happens, let's wait for the result", Indian petroleum secretary M. M. Kutty was quoted saying during his official visit to U.S.

The United States aims to cut Iran's crude exports by about 20 percent to below 1 million bpd from May by requiring importing countries to reduce purchases to avoid USA sanctions, two sources familiar with the matter said.

The U.S. sanctions have also resulted in stalled early negotiations between Iran and South Korea for new supertankers, while Panama has de-flagged many Iranian ships from its registry, according to Reuters' sources. "All in all, therefore, the net result of the Trump administration's move against Tehran has led to the strengthening of economic ties between India and the Islamic Republic", he wrote.

Washington may also deny waivers to some countries that have not bought Iranian crude recently, the sources said.

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It is believed that more than 15 Iranian tankers are coming up to 20 years old. Most Europeans, as well as Japan and South Korea, have stopped.

He said these tankers can no longer be insured by global companies and are likely to be insured by Iranian firms. A third Iranian official said talks were still ongoing.

In November, US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook called Iranian vessels a "floating liability", saying the US sanctions would bar them from global insurance markets, making them a risk for ports and canals which allow them access.

Vietnamese officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Iran has more than 50 tankers, but this month, for example, it's using 12 of those to store oil in floating storage at sea, according to MarineTraffic data cited by Reuters. The Trump administration on 4 March made a decision to end preferential trade treatment for India - an arrangement that allowed for duty-free entry of up to $5.6 billion worth of Indian export products into the US.

"The biggest problem for insurers these days is finding a bank willing to handle a payment for goods or services where the beneficiary is designated by the U.S.", said Salthouse, chairman of the International Group's sanctions sub-committee.

"Banks will not engage when you mention the Iran word".

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