The US seizure of a tanker has failed to stop Iran’s oil exports, the minister said

CAPTION: A member of the Austrian army walks past the Palais Coburg, the meeting of the Joint Action Plan (JCPOA), in Vienna, Austria, February 8, 2022. REUTERS / Leonhard Foeger / File Photo

March 12, 2022

(Reuters) – US seizures of Iranian tankers in recent months have not stopped sanctions in Tehran on increased oil exports, Iran’s oil minister said on Saturday.

“The United States has repeatedly violated Iranian oil tankers in recent months to prevent the export of shipments,” Javad Owji said in an interview with Iranian media.

“When the enemy realized that he could not stop our exports and contracts, they went after our ships,” Owji said.

His remarks follow reports of a recent capture of an Iranian oil tanker in the Bahamas, even as indirect talks between Iran and the United States in Vienna on reviving a 2015 nuclear deal could lead to the lifting of US sanctions against Tehran’s nuclear embargo.

The demand of Russia, a close ally of Iran, at the last minute has forced the empire at a meeting in the Austrian capital to pause indefinitely, despite having a largely complete text.

On March 5, Russia unexpectedly demanded extensive guarantees for its trade with Iran that Moscow impose sanctions on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine – the Western powers’ claim is unacceptable and Washington has said it will not agree.

“Iran’s oil exports have increased under the toughest sanctions and without waiting for the outcome of the Vienna talks,” Owji said.

The increase was due to “different methods used to win contracts and find different buyers,” said Owji.

The increase would have “even increased the bargaining power of friends in Vienna,” he said without elaborating.

Tehran’s oil exports have been curtailed since Donald Trump, the former president of the United States, in 2018 withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and reinstated sanctions.

Iran considers US sanctions illegal and has said it will do its utmost to evade them.

Its oil exports have risen to more than 1 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first time in almost three years, based on estimates from flow-monitoring companies, reflecting increased shipments to China.

Iran increased exports in 2021 despite sanctions, according to estimates by oil industry consultants and experts. But they stayed well below the 2.5 million bpd sent before sanctions were reintroduced.

(dubai.newsroom@thomsonreuters.com; haircut by Mark Potter)

The US seizure of a tanker has failed to stop Iran’s oil exports, the minister said

Source link The US seizure of a tanker has failed to stop Iran’s oil exports, the minister said

Back to top button