President Hassan Rouhani of Iran said regional oil exports may be threatened if the U.S. tries to pressure clients to stop buying Iranian crude oil, a new agency reported on Tuesday.
“The Americans have claimed they want to completely stop Iran’s oil exports.
“They don’t understand the meaning of this statement, because it has no meaning for Iranian oil not to be exported, while the region’s oil is exported,” Rouhani said late on Monday during a visit to Switzerland, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.
Mr Rouhani did not elaborate.
Iranian officials in the past have threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route, in case of hostile U.S. action against Iran.
On June 27, the U. S. warned that countries around the world must stop buying Iranian oil before November 4 or face a renewed round of American economic sanctions.
A senior State Department official warned foreign capitals “we’re not granting waivers” and described tightening the noose on Tehran as “one of our top national security priorities
In May, President Donald Trump withdrew the U. S. from the Iran nuclear deal, re-imposing US sanctions that had been suspended in return for controls on Tehran’s nuclear programme.
Now, Washington is stepping up pressure on other countries to follow suit, including European allies who begged him to stay in the accord and major Iranian customers like India, Japan and China.
European powers in particular have been attempting to negotiate exemptions for their firms, but the official confirmed that Mr Trump intends to stick to his 180-day deadline, expiring November 4.
“I would be hesitant to say zero waivers ever,” he said, but added that the official position is: “No, we’re not granting waivers.”
The senior U.S. official, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity, admitted that this would be unpopular.
“This is a challenge for them, this is not something that any country that imports oil from Iran … wants to do voluntarily because, you know, we’re asking them to make a policy change.
“China, India? Yes, certainly their companies will be subject to the same sanctions that everybody else is,” he said.
“We will certainly be requesting that their oil imports go to zero.”
Iran has faced mounting economic woes since the U.S. pulled out of the 2015 nuclear accord.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...