Iran vows to attack oil trade if USA sanctions bite
Jul 04, 2018, 13:39
Iran will allow private companies to export crude oil, part of a strategy to counter USA sanctions, and is urging fellow OPEC members, including regional rival Saudi Arabia, not to break output agreements, state media and officials said on Sunday.
And China, Iran's biggest buyer, will be even tougher to persuade to limit purchases.
It's a point that Trump is sure to drive home when he arrives at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit next week in Brussels, and days later in Moscow when he meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Rouhani asserted that Iran will not buckle under United States pressure and urged dialogue to resolve the differences between the nations.
A large bulk of Iran's oil revenues and banking ties will be at stake if neither can be protected by the EU.
August 6 November 4 Iran restrictions on dollar purchases Sanctions on oil-related transactions Sanctions on gold, precious metal trades Sanctions on transactions with Iran Central Bank Sanctions on supply of graphite, aluminum and industrial software Sanctions on supply of specialized financial messaging software Sanctions on automotive sector Sanctions on underwriting and insurance services Sanctions on purchase, facilitation of Iranian debt Sanctions on energy sector With assistance from Golnar Motevalli and Jade Cano.
Rouhani's comments came after the Trump administration vowed Monday to stick with its pressure campaign against Iran, affirming its strategy to change Tehran's behavior by gutting its oil revenue and isolating the country globally. But crude oil from Iran now only accounts for about 5 percent of Japan's total oil imports, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Iran's foreign minister is set to hold meetings with top officials from the five other countries that remain in the nuclear deal - the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China - later this week. That encounter is expected to put flesh on an economic package crafted to buffer USA sanctions, according to Ellie Geranmayeh, a senior fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
When asked at a news conference in Bern later on Tuesday whether those comments constituted a threat to interfere with the shipping of neighboring countries, Rouhani said: "Assuming that Iran could become the only oil producer unable to export its oil is a wrong assumption".
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed with Russian Federation and other oil-producing allies on June 23 to raise output from July, with Saudi Arabia pledging a "measurable" supply boost, but giving no specific numbers. The president stressed that no power in history has been able to make the Iranian nation give in to illogical demands.
But actually replacing more than 2 million barrels a day of Iranian crude exports won't be easy.
Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia's King Salman promised Mr. Trump that he could raise production if needed, the White House said. That's led to higher prices at gasoline pumps in the United States as it heads toward midterm elections for Congress. It added that it "remains on track to increase its production capacity to 3.5 million (barrels per day) by the end of 2018". The kingdom now produces some 10 million barrels of crude daily.
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