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Brent for June settlement climbed 2.6 percent to $73.87 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange as of 9:52 a.m.in NY.
Tehran remained defiant over Washington's decision, saying it was prepared for the end of waivers, while the Revolutionary Guards repeated their threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipment channel in the Gulf, Iranian media reported. Although India has gradually weaned itself from Iranian oil after the Trump administration, under pressure from Israel and its friends in the United States, began exerting pressure soon after the change of regime in the White House, Tehran still remains a major oil source accounting for almost 10 per cent of India's imports.
According to the sources, the decision not to extend the waivers was finalized on Friday by US President Donald Trump. "Any action or entity interacting with Iran should do its due diligence and err on the side of caution", Pompeo warned, adding, "We will no longer grant exemptions". Washington, however, granted eight of Iran's biggest oil buyers exemptions that allowed them limited purchases for an additional six months.
The U.S. reimposed sanctions in November on exports of Iranian oil after U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of a nuclear accord struck in 2015 between Iran and world powers.
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US officials told reporters the Trump administration will inform other governments they no longer will be exempt from sanctions.
The decision not to renew the waivers is a victory for National Security Adviser John Bolton and his allies who had argued that US promises to get tough on Iran were meaningless with waivers still in place.
The White House on Monday underlined its determination "to sustain and expand the maximum economic pressure campaign against Iran to end the regime's destabilising activity threatening the United States, our partners and allies, and security in the Middle East". "But if oil prices continue to hit higher, and inflationary pressures come back into the picture again for India especially, then the central bank probably has to reverse the dovish moves", he concluded.
Three of those waivers, for Greece, Italy and Taiwan, are no longer needed because they have all halted their imports of Iranian oil.
Over the past year, Iran has threatened several times to close the Strait of Hormuz for all tanker traffic if the USA drives Iranian oil exports to zero.