Iran to continue exporting crude despite fresh US sanctions – official
Iran will keep on selling oil in defiance of US attempts to prevent Tehran from reaping profits from its major export earner, according to the head of the Iranian delegation at Sunday’s meeting of oil producers in Algiers.
“Market is still open for us, and we are currently exporting oil. And we expect to go on exporting,” Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said after the meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) of members from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) non-cartel oil producers.
Iranian oil exports have been in jeopardy since Washington announced re-imposing unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic after US President Donald Trump in May pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and a broad alliance of world powers. The White House also threatened secondary sanctions on any countries or companies that conduct transactions with Iran.
The first round of anti-Iranian penalties, which came into force in early August, are aimed at areas such as the car industry, carpets, metals trading and access to US banknotes. Further restrictions, planned for early November, are set to hit Iran's oil and shipping sectors.
So far, the tough measures have reportedly forced Japanese refiners to stop buying Iranian crude. Japan, one of Iran’s largest oil importers, was seeking a waiver that would allow it to continue buying Iranian oil. Last week, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry confirmed Japan had raised the issue of a waiver in talks with the US.
Meanwhile, China’s oil imports from Iran reportedly plunged by around 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) in August compared to a month earlier, though Beijing signaled its intent to keep buying. At the same time, India’s imports dropped by 400,000 bpd.
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