Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Iran to sell oil, defy USA sanctions

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Iran to sell oil, defy USA sanctions

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Iran to sell oil, defy USA sanctions

During a visit to Madrid on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the US decision to re-impose sanctions on Iran was "not legitimate" and that the rest of the parties to the 2015 nuclear deal abandoned by Washington are working to make economic cooperation with Tehran possible.

"It is our duty to keep some of the worries to ourselves", IRNA quoted Jahangiri as saying.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Washington aimed to bring Iranian oil exports to zero, but 180-day exemptions were granted to eight importers: China, India, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Greece, Taiwan and Turkey.

The measures are part of a wider effort by US President Donald Trump to curb Tehran's missile and nuclear programs and diminish the Islamic Republic's influence in the Middle East, notably its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.

Labeled by Trump as the "toughest ever", the sanctions took force early in the day as part of US efforts to ramp up pressure on Tehran to "change its behavior."Washington says the terms of the nuclear accord, under which sanctions against Iran were lifted in exchange for curbs on the country's nuclear activities, were not strict enough to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons".

Oil prices initially soared on fears that the Iran sanctions would knock the world's fifth-biggest producer offline.

Kim Eui-kyeom spoke to reporters Tuesday after South Korea was named as one of eight countries that received waivers from the United States to continue importing Iranian crude and other petroleum products without penalty.

This group of eight buyers imported over 80% of Iran's roughly 2.6 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil exports past year, Refiniv Eikon data shows.

Mr Pompeo said, these countries showed significant reduction in oil purchase from the Persian Gulf country after the Trump administration reimposed sanctions on Tehran.

He added: "We continue negotiations to get all of the nations to [bring down their imports from Iran to] zero".

Iran is already in the grip of an economic crisis.

Japan and South Korea, close United States allies, had toed the Washington sanctions line and stopped buying crude from Iran.

Two Chinese sources familiar with the matter said the country would be allowed to buy 360,000 bpd of Iranian crude during the exemption period.

Iran has dismissed these charges and maintains that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes. The price of benchmark Brent crude has dropped from over $80 a barrel in recent days.

Trump pulled America out of the 2015 nuclear deal Iran struck with world powers in May. The session low was $61.31 a barrel, the weakest since March 16.

Ambassador Seyed M. Kazem Sajjadpour said in London on Tuesday that the United States has the "very simple naive" view that Iran will wilt under the pressure. The exemptions are usually created to last up to 180 days.

On the supply-side, oil is in ample availability despite the sanctions against Iran. Including condensate, an ultra-light form of crude, shipments peaked around 3 million bpd in mid-2018, according to trade data in Refinitiv Eikon.

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