Luis Colasante was talking about the possible ways of bypassing US sanctions to ensure Iranian oil supplies to the global market.
Colasante noted that Trump administration is restoring sanctions lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal in a bid to pressure the Islamic Republic.
"These sanctions will hit the Iranian oil sector, banks, and shipping, and will make it difficult to do business with them. The US is betting that economic pressure will force Iran to change its tune and agree to a new, much more restrictive nuclear deal than the one reached in 2015 between Tehran and the six world powers," said the expert.
He pointed out that Iran's oil exports have fallen since the Trump administration announced in mid-year the reimposition of sanctions on Iran.
"But the exemptions granted to Iran's biggest oil customers — China, India, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Greece, Taiwan and Turkey — allow them to import at least some oil for another six months more. This group of eight buyers imported over 80 percent of Iran's roughly 2.6 million barrels per day of oil exports last year. Only China, India and Japan imported around 1.6 million barrels per day," said the energy expert.
Colasante said that the Trump administration fears that Russia could help Tehran evade US sanctions by buying up Iranian oil and reselling it as its own.
He noted that Russia can purchase Iranian oil for domestic use, thus buying Iranian oil at preferential prices and export its internal production.
"But at the end, Russia doesn't need to import oil from any country. Even in the last five months, Russian production has increased by 400,000 barrels per day and the country has the capacity to increase it by another 300,000 barrels per day," the expert said.
The US introduced a second package of unilateral sanctions against Tehran aimed at restricting the export of Iranian oil on November 5. More than 700 individuals and legal entities, ships and aircrafts of Iran fell under the new US sanctions.
This is the second wave of sanctions imposed by the Trump administration since May this year.
Despite the desire to reduce the supply of Iranian oil to the world market to zero, Washington nevertheless went for relief for a number of countries purchasing energy from Iran, including Italy, Greece, Turkey, India, China, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
In 2012, the Iranian government ceased, in response to sanctions by Western countries, the sale of oil to the US and the UK, and from the beginning of 2013 to the EU.
In 2016 the US authorities announced the lift of sanctions from 59 individuals (citizens of Iran and other countries), 385 enterprises, 77 planes and 227 ships.
In 2018, the Trump administration restored sanctions against Iran.
Trump also reported the restoration of all sanctions against Iran, including secondary ones, that is, in relation to other countries doing business with Iran.
From August 7, 2018, the updated Blocking Statute entered into force in the EU, the provisions of which are aimed at protecting European companies from the influence of US extraterritorial sanctions.