Iran’s oil minister said the US will fail in trying to bring Iranian crude exports to a standstill, but acknowledged South Korea has stopped buying oil from Tehran.
The website of Iran’s oil ministry, Shana.ir, quotes Bijan Zangeneh as saying the “US dream of getting Iran’s oil exports (effectively) to zero won’t come true”.
Zangeneh said such a plan isn’t possible long-term, though Washington seems determined to cut Iran’s crude exports, “even if for just a month”.
But he did concede that Seoul hasn’t bought any Iranian oil “for three continuous months”.
President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in May. Washington wants to reduce Iran’s oil exports effectively to zero and has threatened sanctions against any country that buys Iranian oil.
It’s unclear, however, how much other countries will follow suit once a second set of sanctions targeting Iran’s oil sector take effect on 4 November.
Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, which also signed the nuclear deal, opposed the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from it. European countries are trying to salvage the landmark accord.
Zangeneh also welcomed the outcome of a meeting Sunday between OPEC members and the cartel’s allies, which ended without any decision to further increase oil output despite Trump’s call for lower prices.
Zangeneh says “no country gave a positive answer to Trump” and that this can be considered a “heavy defeat” for the US president.
However, Iran’s oil exports have already fallen by nearly one-third since Trump’s announcement.
Analysts expect sanctions to remove between 500,000 and 1 million barrels per day out of the globe’s oil market.