France, Germany and Britain have opened a new channel for non-dollar trade with Iran to avert U.S. sanctions, although diplomats say it is unlikely to allow for the big transactions that Tehran says it needs to keep a nuclear deal afloat. Washington’s major European allies opposed last year’s decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to abandon the 2015 deal, under which international sanctions on Iran were lifted in return for Tehran accepting curbs on its nuclear program.
Brazil's President-elect Jair Bolsonaro and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Friday in Rio de Janeiro and sealed an alliance between the two countries, although moving the embasy to Jerusalem was reportedly not on the table. Bolsonaro presented Netanyahu with the highest national decoration for visitors in Brazil, granted in the past to former US President Dwight Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth.
The Spanish Socialist leader, Pablo Iglesias, appeared before the Spanish Senate on Thursday over the alleged illegal financing that his political coalition, Podemos, could have received from Venezuela and Iran. In a tense debate with a senator from the Popular Party (PP), Iglesias said that the situation in the South American country “is disastrous” and that he regrets things he has said in the past.
Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s chief financial officer faces U.S. accusations that she covered up her company’s links to a firm that tried to sell equipment to Iran despite sanctions, a Canadian prosecutor said on Friday, arguing against giving her bail while she awaits extradition.
European Union foreign ministers showed cautious support on Monday for possible new economic sanctions on Iran in a shift of policy after accusations of Iranian attack plots in France and Denmark, diplomats said.
Oil markets on Friday remained weak as rising supply and concerns of an economic slowdown pressured prices, with U.S. crude now down by 20% since early October. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at US$ 61.63 per barrel.
Oil prices were mixed on Monday after a steep five-day fall, as the United States formally imposed punitive sanctions on Iran but granted eight countries temporary waivers allowing them to keep buying oil from the Islamic Republic. The sanctions are part of U.S. President Donald Trump’s effort to curb Iran’s missile and nuclear programs and diminish its influence in the Middle East.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday defended the White House’s move last week to reimpose sanctions against Iran amid criticism from some conservatives that the action does not go far enough to cripple the country’s economy.
The Trump administration is to reinstate all US sanctions on Iran removed under the 2015 nuclear deal. The White House said it was the toughest sanctions regime ever imposed on Iran and targeted Iran's energy, shipping and banking sectors.
Saudi Arabia has no intention of unleashing a 1973-style oil embargo on Western consumers and will isolate oil from politics, the Saudi energy minister said on Monday amid a worsening crisis over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.