U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on April. 8, 2019 that Washington will decide "in due course" whether to extend waivers for countries seeking to import oil from Iran.
South Korea and seven other economies were granted temporary waivers in November after the U.S. withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimposed sanctions on the country.
The 180-day grace period is due to expire May 3.
"We'll make that decision in due course as we move towards May 2nd," Pompeo said of the oil waivers, during a press conference in which he announced the U.S. designation of Iran's military as a terrorist organization.
The labeling, he said, "absolutely ... creates clarity around those transactions that create risk for companies not just in Europe, but frankly all over the world."
South Korean companies rely heavily on Iranian condensate to produce petrochemical products, and eliminating imports of the key raw material could have a harmful effect on the economy.
Last week U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said Washington has no plans to grant additional waivers amid "better market conditions" to drive Iranian oil imports to zero.
The eight economies that were granted waivers are South Korea, China, India, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Japan and Turkey.
The Wall Street Journal has reported the U.S. could extend waivers for South Korea, China, Japan, India and Turkey due to the potential impact on global oil supply from political unrest in Libya. (Yonhap)