Published: Sat, May 12, 2018
Finance | By Gustavo Carr

French anger at U.S. sanctions on Iran

French anger at U.S. sanctions on Iran

Oil prices clocked up more multi-year highs on Thursday as traders adjusted to the prospects of renewed USA sanctions against major crude exporter Iran amid an already tightening market.

U.S. President Donald Trump will announce on Tuesday whether he will pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.

Iran's revenues from the oil and gas would be maintained as envisaged in the national budget bill, he said.

Oil markets were steady yesterday with prices near late-2014 highs as a decision looms on whether the United States walks away from a deal with Iran and instead re-imposes sanctions on Tehran.

The administration's goal is to impose tough sanctions that will prompt Iran to re-negotiate the Iran nuclear deal, he said.

On Thursday, US individuals and entities were barred from doing business with six Iranian individuals and three companies that Washington said had ties to the Revolutionary Guards. Although, major oil producers are now party to a deal - expiring at the end of the year - to cut their output in order to maintain prices, it is likely that oil levels will remain steady.

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The US Treasury has said that there will be wind-down periods of 90 and 180 days before sanctions are implemented.

M.K. Surana, chairman of Hindustan Petroleum, said refiners may use that time to step up purchases from Iran. In their many conversations with Trump about Iran this year, the Europeans asked him to avoid damaging their own investments there, even if he decided that the United States was out of the deal, the Post reported.

"They agreed on the need for calm on all sides and on the importance of tackling Iran's destabilising activity in the region", the spokeswoman said. "There are worries that Iran's oil exports could fall by about 1 million barrels per day (bpd) from current levels", said Tomomichi Akuta, senior economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting in Tokyo.

Though Iran is the third largest oil supplier to India, a top official of Indian Oil said the U.S. sanctions would not impact India's oil purchases from Iran as the country pays in euros. Up to 1 million barrels per day of Iranian crude are at stake.

A number of French firms have have signed billion dollar agreements with Iran since the nuclear accord was signed in 2015.

The two men urged European countries to go beyond "mere words" and counter Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal with real, concrete actions. But since they do not really trade much with Iran anyway, they do not add much to the coalition.

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