1215 GMT January 20, 2019
Jahangiri said the government of President Hassan Rouhani has already devised mechanisms to counter the impacts of returning US sanctions against the country’s oil exports. He emphasized that Iran had serious plans to maintain oil exports above one million barrels per day, Press TV reported.
“Iran exported as much as 2.5 million barrels per day of oil over the past months,” he told a local insurance industry conference. “There has been a decline of a few thousand barrels per day. But we have always emphasized that Iran’s exports should not decline below one million barrels per day.”
The administration of US President Donald Trump is preparing to launch the second wave of sanctions against Iran as of November 4 in which a universal ban on the country’s oil exports appears to be a primary objective.
US officials have already said the sanctions would be meant to bring down Iran’s oil exports to zero. However, Iranian officials have repeatedly rejected the feasibility of this, stressing that international consumers cannot afford to lose Iranian supplies.
“Iran used to sell its oil at $30 per barrel but is now selling it at $80 per barrel,” Jahangiri added. “If the Americans could ever prevent Iran’s oil sales, the prices would surpass $100 per barrel.”
Jahangiri further stressed that US efforts to encourage Saudi Arabia to replace Iran’s oil in markets were in vain, stressing that oil prices would nonetheless rise if Iranian supplies were to be cut off.
“What is happening today is a lie that US policymakers are telling the people of the world and the Americans that Iran’s oil supplies should be replaced by Saudi Arabia so that oil prices would not rise,” he said.
The Iranian first vice president further described Trump’s decision to restore Iran sanctions as illegal, stressing that the move was against the diplomatic success that had culminated in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Jahangiri said the real target of the sanctions were the people of Iran, adding that the Americans were lying that the sanctions are meant to pressure the government of Iran.