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.
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.
The rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran is becoming increasingly evident in the oil pricing policies of the two large Middle Eastern producers. The two countries are currently reigniting the market share and pricing war ahead of the returning U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil.
European foreign affairs chiefs have pledged to protect firms against the impact of US sanctions for doing business with Iran. An EU “blocking statute” took effect on Tuesday to nullify US legal action against European firms in connection with Iran.
At midday on Tuesday, the first wave of U.S. sanctions suspended under the Iran nuclear deal will snap back into place, as the Trump administration tries to ramp up the economic pressure on Iran. But without partners in Europe, let alone buy-in from countries like Russia, China, and India, it's unclear how strong that pressure will be.