Why does US wants other countries to stop oil imports or else face sanctions?

As per news,

"Without question, they should be reduced. That's what we've been telling them in our bilateral meetings. They should be preparing, now, to go to zero (by November 4)," the official said

Also from here,

external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had said that “India follows only UN sanctions, and not unilateral sanctions by any country” days after President Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran deal.

Since Iran is the third largest supplier to India, it is not easy for India to stop oil imports from Iran.

But my main question is why does US wants to stop it?

  • 2
    The US pulled out of a deal with Iran so see if politics.stackexchange.com/questions/30848/… can answer your question
    – James K
    Jun 27, 2018 at 7:56
  • 1
    Are you asking why Iran is in the crosshairs of Trump's policy in the Middle East?
    – user9790
    Jun 27, 2018 at 13:00
  • 2
    @mayankagrawal The rationale is that, from the Trump admin perspective, Iran is not a strategic partner in the ME and threatens US allies, American interests, and stability in the region. Part of this calculus is that Iran remains the chief state actor in exporting terrorism. Just recently it was revealed that Iran funneled some of the 9-11 bombers into America (or obscured their travel plans enabling such transport).
    – user9790
    Jun 27, 2018 at 16:48
  • 2
    @KDog Do you have a source for your claim (9/11 and Iran)? Jun 28, 2018 at 5:41
  • 1
    @MartinSchröder freebeacon.com/national-security/…
    – user9790
    Jun 28, 2018 at 12:21

2 Answers 2


A higher level geopolitical answer, based on most expert opinions I ever heard or dead on the topic, is "because Iran is an economy heavily, although not primarily, relying on oil exports, especially to generate foreign currency reserves needed for international trade. And the income thus generated goes towards either direct threats - such as weapons research or IRG intervention in other countries - or simply to strengthen an enemy regime".

A formal reason is sanctions on Iran.

The goal here isn't to stop India from importing oil, it's to stop India from giving money to Iran for its oil (whether this inconveniences India is a rather distant second consideration in such topics, at least for US side)


Why US wants India and other countries to stop oil imports from Iran?

This is not even a valid question, to begin with.

All sanctions in the world have a common goal: to put pressure on the target country. So, if India buys oil from Iran, the sanction doesn't work as Iran can obtain its foreign currency from export to India.

This is as simple as that.

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