Iran's Rouhani terms USA threats to end oil imports as a "fantasy"

Posted July 05, 2018

This comes on the heels of U.S. efforts to block and eliminate Iran's oil sales, which was met with a harsh response from Iran.

"If they want to stop Iranian oil exports, we will not allow any oil shipment to pass through the Strait of Hormuz", Ismail Kowsari was quoted as saying by the Young Journalists Club (YJC) website.

"We heard very clearly what Nikki Haley said and we are in no doubt the USA will use pressure, not just on us around the world".

The withdrawal has paved the way for new U.S. sanctions against Tehran and foreign companies that trade or invest with it, causing several major businesses, including in Austria, to stop activity in the country.

Washington has been pressuring its allies to halt all purchases of Iranian oil by November 4.

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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Tuesday that Beijing was opposed to unilateral sanctions when asked if China would buy less Iranian oil. This week the U.S. State Department reiterated its intention to get tough with all countries engaging with Iran for trade, energy and infrastructure projects. Oil remains Iran's lifeblood and supplies roughly 40 percent of the government's revenue. "We can not pre-judge what the U.S. will be doing", said a source. They can talk sensitively.

Iran, the third-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, exports about 2 million barrels of crude oil per day.

In an article on June 27 Foreign Policy said since Iran is fully abiding by the terms of the worldwide 2015 nuclear accord "many countries are reluctant to go along with Washington's wishes" to cease importing oil from Iran.

The sources said the United States was prepared to work with countries that are reducing their oil imports on a case-to-case basis.

Then on Friday in the Austrian capital, Iran's foreign minister will meet the top envoys from the five powers still party to the JCPOA - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation - according to Iranian state media.

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MP Assadollah Qarehkhani was quoted by media as saying that a special committee had been formed in the Parliament that would deal with bartering oil with goods, adding that this was meant to help Iran overcome the impacts of upcoming U.S. sanctions.

The Austrian chancellor told Iran's visiting president on Wednesday that the European nation is unconditionally committed to Israel's security.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif suggested the arrests, which were announced as he and President Hassan Rohani began the trip, were a "false flag" operation.

Iran had struck the JCPoA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) deal with the United States, the UK, Russia, China, France and Germany after years of negotiations. On Saturday, Trump wrote on Twitter that he had received assurances from King Salman of Saudi Arabia that the kingdom will increase oil production, "maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels" in response to turmoil in Iran and Venezuela.

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