Asian buyers of Iranian crude are well placed to overcome the end of US sanctions waivers as they have demonstrated they can live without it and as global producers have the capacity to make up a shortfall, according to analysts and trade data.
"We're going to zero", Pompeo said. On Monday, the USA announced it would no longer honor that exemption.
Through this, the Trump administration is working towards crippling the Iranian government and weaken the power of its ruling clerics, with Pompeo saying that Iran has earned about $50 billion annually from oil sales.
The new restrictions could represent a severe blow to the South Korean petrochemical industry, highly dependent on Persian crude oil derivatives.
The analysts say in a report Tuesday that US ally Saudi Arabia will take its time to ramp up oil production to make up for the lost Iranian oil exports.
In November the Trump administration began limited sanctions on Iranian oil purchases, but gave exemption waivers to Greece and Italy, which immediately stopped purchasing Iranian oil, and Turkey, South Korea, China, India, Japan, and Taiwan.
"The Trump administration's decision today to stop issuing waivers for sanctions against nations importing Iranian crude oil is long overdue", Rubio said.
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"When Trump withdrew from the Iran deal, it sent the United States on a course of self-isolation and dwindling options", Suzanne DiMaggio, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said.
The "normal" energy cooperation China and other countries have with Iran within the framework of worldwide law is lawful and reasonable, and should be respected, he added.
Iran was India's third-largest oil supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The crisis-hit country, which was exporting between 1.47 and 1.66 million barrels per day before the sanctions, was only shipping 920,000 barrels per day at the end of February.
Energy analysts at Raymond James & Associates are warning that USA imposition of tougher Iranian oil sanctions is "unambiguously bullish" for the price of oil. But some countries got temporary waivers that allowed them to import Iranian oil.
Beijing said Washington's decision to impose sanctions on buyers of Iranian oil will "intensify turmoil" in the Middle East.
"I repeat, the United States and its allies have committed a big mistake by politicizing oil and using it as a weapon and the aftermaths of which will be felt by themselves", Zangeneh continued.