Nov 13, 2018 12:24 UTC
  • US national security adviser John Bolton
    US national security adviser John Bolton

US national security adviser John Bolton says his country will keep up pressure on Iran after imposing new sanctions on the Islamic Republic early this month.

Bolton said on Tuesday that Washington’s ultimate aim was to zero Iran’s oil exports despite backing down on the pledge after eight importers were given waivers when the sanctions took effect on Nov. 5.

"The objective has been from the beginning to get oil exports from Iran down to zero," Bolton said. "It is our intention to squeeze them very hard. As the British say: 'Squeeze them until the pips squeak'."

China, India, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Turkey and South Korea are the eight countries that have been exempted from the US sanctions.

Iran’s Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zanganeh said last week that the waivers were not enough, warning of “painful months” ahead for consumers because of insufficient supplies.

Zanganeh said the Trump administration has “artificially” brought down oil and gasoline prices ahead of midterm elections by coordinating an increased draw in US crude inventory, but the prices will “naturally” move up in the coming months.

Other Iranian officials have said US claims of bringing Iran’s oil exports down to zero and replace it with Saudi oil are a bluff.