Iran Aims to Keep Oil Exports Flowing Despite US Sanctions

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

Iran has said it will fight back against United States efforts to squeeze Iranian oil exports, accusing countries that fill the gap in oil markets of "a big treachery to the Iranian nation and the world community", according to Iran's First Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri.

"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.

"The hole is only going to get bigger, and we don't see who is going to fill the gap", she said.

"Just spoke to King Salman of Saudi Arabia and explained to him that, because of the turmoil & dysfunction in Iran and Venezuela, I am asking that Saudi Arabia increase oil production, maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels, to make up the difference", Trump wrote on Twitter.

For now, "simple reality dictates that United States secondary sanctions will have a strong impact", Mr Singh said, because "the choice between the U.S. and Iranian markets is an easy one for most businesses".

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

"Member nations of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the leading non-OPEC oil producer Russian Federation, should maintain the Algiers Pact they forged in September 2016 so that oil prices will continue to ramp up", Sonatrach CEO Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour said.

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Iran will allow private companies to export crude oil, part of a strategy to counter USA sanctions, and is urging fellow OPEC members, including regional rival Saudi Arabia, not to break output agreements, state media and officials said on Sunday.

"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 fall came as the Russian Energy Ministry said on Monday that the country's oil output increased to 11.06 million barrels per day in June from 10.97 million barrels per day in May.

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 later walked back the comments.

On Fox, Trump directed blame at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, of which Saudi Arabia is a member.

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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