Iran Aims to Keep Oil Exports Flowing Despite US Sanctions

02 July, 2018, 18:51 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • Iran vows to thwart US efforts to block its oil exports

The developments were preceded by US President Donald Trump tweeting about his telephone talk with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who allegedly agreed to Washington's proposal to increase Riyadh's daily oil production to two million barrels.

"Anyone trying to take away Iran's oil market (share) would be committing great treachery against Iran and will one day pay for it", Jahangiri warned in an open reference to Saudi Arabia.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says he believes the USA sanctions are meant to turn the public against the government, and won't succeed.

"We will surely do something to thwart the United States rallying cry that Iranian oil [exports] must be stemmed", Jahangiri said in a speech over the weekend.

Iran has asked fellow OPEC members to "refrain from any unilateral measures", warning that would undermine the unity of OPEC, following reports that Saudi Arabia has raised its oil production to a record high this month. It comes as Mr. Trump pulled the US out of Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers in May.

"They're begging the Saudis to raise their output so that if Iran's quota decreases nothing will happen to the markets", said Jahangiri.

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"Our attempt is to defeat USA policies in the sale of oil and we are pretty sure we will sell our oil as much as we need", he added.

On Tuesday a senior State Department official described tightening the noose on Tehran as "one of our top national security priorities".

But a flurry of United States announcements over the weekend unsettled oil markets.

Iran and Saudi Arabia broke off diplomatic relations in 2016 and are locked in several proxy wars in the Middle East, including in Yemen.

"Any increase in the production by any member country beyond commitments stipulated in OPEC's decisions ... would constitute a breach of the agreement", Zanganeh wrote in his letter, seen by Reuters and also reported by state media on Sunday. That would be roughly 1 million barrels per day of crude oil output increase according to OPEC officials.

"King Salman affirmed that the kingdom maintains a 2-million-barrel-per-day spare capacity, which it will prudently use if and when necessary to ensure market balance and stability, and in coordination with its producer partners, to respond to any eventuality", the statement said. The letter, published by the Iranian Oil Ministry's SHANA news agency, did not directly name Saudi Arabia, Iran's Mideast rival, but the ultraconservative kingdom was clearly its target.

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