Iran Aims to Keep Oil Exports Flowing Despite US Sanctions

Iran Aims to Keep Oil Exports Flowing Despite US Sanctions

Eshaq Jahangiri made the comments Sunday in a televised speech.

He warned against any move in the crude market by any country to replace Iran's share, saying that those who intend to do so will betray Iran and will be punished someday.

"The (Iranian) government has a plan. and God willing we are certain that we will be able to sell as much oil as we want", he said.

"We're not granting waivers", the official said.

US President Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday that Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud had agreed to pump more oil, "maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels".

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

At the same time, the official said, the United States would work with countries that import Iranian crude on a "case by case" basis, signaling that the Trump administration might not immediately impose sanctions on those that continue importing from Iran beyond a November 4 deadline.

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

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Last week, OPEC countries and other major oil producers that participated in the 2016 Vienna deal agreed on increasing production to one million barrels per day, which is the volume of the countries' over-compliance with the agreement.

"They seek to push Iranian exports of crude, condensate, and oil products to zero", energy consultancy FGE said in a note.

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

The Treasury Department said the sanctions on Iran would take effect in 90-day and 180-day periods - after August 6 and November 4. The White House has said the US will put those sanctions back into place.

Tehran and Riyadh are members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, a cartel that manages supply to the global market via production quotas so as to keep prices in member states' favour.

"Our goal is to increase pressure on the Iranian regime by reducing to zero its revenue on crude-oil sales", Brian Hook, the State Department's director of policy planning, said at a briefing.

Without naming Saudi Arabia, Zangeneh wrote "any increase" in production by any member state "beyond commitments stipulated in OPEC's decisions. would constitute (a) breach of the agreement".

Hook seemed to celebrate the collapsing Iranian economy, telling reporters Monday that their efforts had led to more than 50 worldwide companies announcing they will leave the Iranian market, although the State Department is not providing that list.

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