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Netanyahu ordered Trump to end sanctions waivers on Iranian oil: Analyst

US President Donald Trump (left) listens as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington, Monday, March 25, 2019.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered US President Donald Trump to end exemptions from sanctions for several countries buying oil from Iran, says an American political analyst

Rodney Martin, a former congressional staffer based in Scottsdale, Arizona, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV after Netanyahu praised Trump for not renewing waivers that allowed eight countries to buy oil from Iran without getting sanctioned.

Last November, the US enforced sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic’s banking and energy sector. However, it agreed to grant waivers to China, India, Japan, Turkey, Italy, Greece, South Korea and Taiwan, allowing them to continue buying Iranian oil.

Netanyahu said on Monday that Trump’s decision "is of great importance for increasing pressure” on Iran.

The White House made the announcement earlier in the day saying “Trump has decided not to reissue Significant Reduction Exceptions (SREs) when they expire in early May.”

“This decision is intended to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

The waivers were scheduled for renewal on May 2.

“I have no doubt that Netanyahu requested if not outright ordered the US State Department vie Donald Trump vie AIPAC, vie Trump’s Jewish Zionist donors and supporters. And I think he ordered that this policy be implemented. So Israel and Netanyahu are very pleased,” Martin said.  

“On a broader scale, it further exposes the fact that Israel has a greater network of influencers in US political system, and not Russia,” he stated.

The analyst said that it’s “a glaring example” that Israel meddles in US policy.   

After Trump’s announcement, oil prices on Monday spiked to their highest levels since October. Brent crude rocketed past $74 a barrel, its highest point this year.

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