Published: Thu, July 05, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Rouhani says USA unaware about consequences of Iran oil ban

Rouhani says USA unaware about consequences of Iran oil ban

The Government of India is bracing for more "pressure" from the USA on Iran sanctions in the coming weeks, but hopes that there may be an exception made for its dealings on the Chabahar port, as officials meet with a US delegation in the next few weeks. Oil remains Iran's lifeblood and supplies roughly 40 percent of the government's revenue.

Vienna delivered the request to "lift the immunity of the Iranian diplomat" to Iran's ambassador to Austria, who was summoned to the foreign ministry after news of the alleged plot emerged on Monday, a ministry spokesman said.

When asked at a news conference in Bern later on Tuesday whether those comments constituted a threat to interfere with the shipping of neighbouring countries, Rouhani said: "Assuming that Iran could become the only oil producer unable to export its oil is a wrong assumption". "Without question, they should be reducing ... they should be preparing now to go to zero".

Foreign ministers from Iran and four other countries are set to hold talks Friday on the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. The only thing driving some oil refiners in Europe, India, and East Asia to look for other suppliers is the fear of being locked out of the USA economy.

Iran's president has called on the global community to defy Washington's stated intention of choking Iranian oil exports, describing the plan as a careless act of criminal aggression that doesn't care about consequences.

The sources said the United States was prepared to work with countries that are reducing their oil imports on a case-to-case basis.

China is Iran's top trading partner and No 1 oil and non-oil buyer, as well as major investor.

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The country accounts for about one-quarter of Iran's oil sales - some 600,000 barrels a day out of the roughly 2.2 million barrels a day that Iran exports - and Chinese demand for oil is growing at a steady clip.

"It seems they do not understand what they are saying when they say Iran will not be allowed to export even a single drop of oil, " Rouhani said in remarks aired by Iranian state television.

The administration will also have to persuade other big buyers, including Japan, South Korea, Turkey, and members of the European Union, to forswear Iranian oil.

New US sanctions against Tehran will encompass businesses from third countries that continue to operate in Iran.

The UAE, an American-allied federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula, hosts some 5,000 US troops. Iran has asked the European countries to come up with a new economic package to offset the USA sanctions and preserve the accord.

The Iranian president reiterated Tehran's position that it would remain committed to the JCPOA so long as the country can enjoy its "benefits".

The sources said there has been an informal indication from the USA that the Chabahar port may be kept out of the sanctions regime.

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