Iran Aims to Keep Oil Exports Flowing Despite US Sanctions

Iran Aims to Keep Oil Exports Flowing Despite US Sanctions”

Hopes in the Trump administration are that other Middle Eastern producers will step in to compensate for the shortfall in supply, notably Saudi Arabia and possibly its Gulf allies.

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries cartel led by Saudi Arabia and non-cartel members agreed this month to pump 1 million barrels more crude oil per day, a move that should help contain the recent rise in global energy prices.

Trump, who is spending the weekend at his golf property in New Jersey, said in a tweet on Saturday that Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia had agreed to produce more oil. "We believe that the Russian budget received an extra 4 trillion rubles thanks to this deal with Saudi Arabia", said the head of RDIF Kirill Dmitriev in an interview with Russia's NTV channel.

Washington aims to cut Iran's oil sales, First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri said, adding that this is an impossible measure.

"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. It comes as Mr. Trump pulled the US out of Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers in May.

Oil prices rose on Friday on worries that United States sanctions against Iran would take away significant volumes of crude oil from world markets while oil demand worldwide increases.

Last week, a senior US State Department official described tightening the noose on Tehran as "one of our top national security priorities".

The US "down to zero" plan rests heavily on banning India and China from buying from the Iranians, and while Indian companies have suggested they will dial it back, China remains in the nuclear deal and nearly certainly won't give in to US demands.

"OPEC decisions by no means warrant any action by some of its member countries in pursuit of the call for production increase by USA, politically motivated against Iran", Zanganeh wrote.

India, the biggest buyer of Iranian oil after China, already asked refiners on Thursday to prepare for a "drastic reduction or zero" of imports of Iranian oil in order to protect its exposure to the United States financial system.

The letter calls on the president of OPEC to "remind" member states to "adhere to their commitments. and refrain from any unilateral measures undermining the unity and independence" of OPEC.

"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.

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