Sri Lanka prepared to face impact of new US sanctions on Iran

Thursday, 9 January 2020
Sri Lanka is prepared to face any impact from new US sanctions on Iran, the Government said today. Government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said that even in the past Sri Lanka took steps to mitigate the impact of sanctions on Iran.
The Minister told reporters today that the issue involving the US and Iran and the impact it may have on Sri Lanka is being discussed at a diplomatic level. He said that the welfare of a small group of Sri Lankans in Iran is also being looked at.
Less than a day after Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at bases in Iraq housing US and coalition forces, US President Donald Trump said that the US will impose punishing economic sanctions on Iran.
“As we continue to evaluate options in response to Iranian aggression, the United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime,” Trump said in an address to the nation.
Sanctions, however, punishing, would represent a marked de-escalation of the current tensions between the United States and Iran, which began last week when an American drone killed top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.
Sri Lanka, which had in the past obtained oil from Iran, was looking to export large volumes of tea. The Sri Lankan Government had been discussing a tea-for-debt barter deal with Iran to pay for past oil imports