Iran says it is Selling all of the Crude Oil it Needs to Despite US Sanctions
Tuesday, Iran said it had so far been able to sell as much Crude Oil as it needs despite US pressure, but it urged European countries opposed to US sanctions to do more to shield Iran.
Monday, the US restored sanctions targeting Iran’s Crude Oil, banking and transport sectors and threatened more action to stop what Washington called its “outlaw” policies – steps that Tehran called economic warfare and vowed to defy.
The measures are part of a wider effort by US President Donald Trump to curb Tehran’s missile and nuclear programs and diminish the Islamic Republic’s influence in the Middle East, notably its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.
President Trump is targeting Iran’s main source of revenue, Crude Oil exports as well as its financial sector, essentially making 50 Iranian banks and their subsidiaries off-limits to foreign banks, on threat of losing access to the US financial system.
“The Americans constantly said they would reduce the sale of Iran’s oil to Zero but I have to say that, so far, we have been able to sell our required amounts of oil,” Tasnim news agency quoted Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri as saying.
“The Americans, with the help of propaganda, do not see the realities.”
Industry estimates suggest Iran’s Crude Oil exports have in fact fallen by 40-60% since President Trump said in May that he would reimpose sanctions, but 180-day exemptions for Iran’s biggest Crude Oil customers could mean they rise again after November.
Iran’s Oil minister wrote to OPEC’s Secretary General calling for 2 committees that monitor an output deal with non-OPEC countries to be scrapped, accusing them of siding with the United States.
The head of Iran’s central bank, Abdolnasser Hemmati, said Iranian banks should use their previous experience dealing with sanctions to support the foreign trade process and financial transfers”, according to the state news agency, IRNA.
The EU, France, Germany, Britain and Russia, participants with the United States in the 2015 deal that lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program, have all objected to the reimposition of sanctions.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Washington had used “unacceptable methods” to force the SWIFT global financial network to cut off Iranian banks, and that there would be still ways to cooperate economically with Iran.
The EU is seeking to launch a SPV (special purpose vehicle) to sidestep the US financial system by using an EU intermediary to handle trade with Iran.
Major European firms including France’s Total, Germany’s Allianz and Siemens, Denmark’s shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk and France’s PSA Group have already halted or wound down their activities in Iran to avoid US sanctions.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Kazem Sajjadpour said in a speech in London that the SPV was “an interesting procedure, but what is lacking is speed and efficiency”.
He said European small and medium-sized businesses were still active in Iran “without making any noise”, and that European governments were trying to help them to keep operating.
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