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USA may grant waivers on Iran crude sanctions

10 October 2018

Saudi Arabia, the biggest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, said last week it would increase crude output next month to 10.7 million bpd, a record. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Bloomberg on Friday that Saudi Arabia "did (its) job and more" by making up for the recent drop in Iranian oil sales.

Khashoggi's fiancée asked Trump and first lady Melania Trump to "help shed light" on his disappearance, writing in a column Wednesday in The Washington Post that she remains confident he is still alive while acknowledging "my hope slowly fades away each passing day".

"I'm not happy about it", Trump said of Khashoggi's disappearance. "I think she's in shock, now even more", her friend said. Saudi officials haven't acknowledged that.

Prince Mohammed, who has ties to Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, has introduced some economic and social reforms, allowing women to drive and opening movie theaters in the deeply conservative Muslim nation.

'I would certainly concerned, ' he said.

"However it would come at a cost, both in terms of higher oil prices compared to the favourable terms it gets from Iran and in terms of higher shipping costs as they would inevitably be longer distance shipments compared to Iranian exports".

Anonymous Turkish sources say the 15 men flew into Istanbul of two private Gulfstream IV jets with tail numbers HZ-SK1 and HZ-SK2.

Sabah newspaper published the names and years of birth of the 15 Saudis it said arrived at Istanbul's Ataturk airport.

But the Saudi government asserted Khashoggi left the premises shortly after his visit and claimed they too were anxious for him.

Prince Mohammed told Bloomberg on Friday that the kingdom had met its promise to Washington to make up for Iranian oil supplies lost through U.S. sanctions, reimposed when the United States exited a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and six powers. Twelve of them arrived early on Tuesday, based on photos captured at passport control which it published.

News channel 24 aired the video, suggesting that Khashoggi was inside of the black Mercedes Vito, which resembled one parked outside of the consulate when the writer walked in on October 2.

It did not say how it obtained the pictures and data.

Istanbul prosecutors are investigating the incident, while the consulate said on Twitter that it was working in coordination with Turkish authorities. It said they checked into two hotels in Istanbul on October 2 and left later that day.

The nation continued buying Iranian oil during the previous round of sanctions, from 2012 to 2015, although it cut its purchases significantly to protect its access to the U.S. market. Shortly after midday it said several cars entered the consulate building. No one has produced any such footage of Khashoggi leaving the consulate.

Turkish sources with knowledge of the investigation told MEE they believed Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate and the Turkish authorities are considering digging up the garden to see whether his remains are buried there.

USA may grant waivers on Iran crude sanctions