The US has granted waivers to eight countries excluding Sri Lanka for the buying of Iranian oil temporary after the re-imposing of severe sanctions against Iran this week, official sources said.
Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, did not say which eight countries would be exempted from the waivers but they are believed to be India, China Japan, Italy, Turkey and South Korea, foreign news agencies reported.
But US has not informed Sri Lanka, that it has granted the waiver to the island nation as it has expressed concern on the political crisis in the country while closely watching the situation, a senior official of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources Development said.
Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is testing a crude oil from Algeria to widen supply sources for its Sapugaskanda oil refinery which is optimised for Iranian crude that is now subject to American sanctions, he said.
He added that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation was no longer importing Iranian crude oil and it was looking for alternative crude blends to diversify its sources of supply.
Following the threat of snapback sanctions against Tehran by the White House, Sri Lanka’s state oil corporation had earlier mulled paying for its oil imports and debts with tea.
Iran, a big consumer of tea, imports 90 per cent of the commodity from India and Sri Lanka.