News ID: 252087
Published: 0159 GMT April 29, 2019

Iran: US sanctions to damage oil market stability

Iran: US sanctions to damage oil market stability

US sanctions against Iran’s oil industry will damage the stability of global oil markets, a senior Iranian official said on Monday.

“These sanctions are an example of America’s bullying reaction in trying to change the balance of power in the world,” Deputy Oil Minister Amir Hossein Zamaninia said.

Oil prices hit their highest level since November last week after Washington announced all waivers on imports of sanctions-hit Iranian oil would end this week, pressuring importers to stop buying from Tehran and further tightening global supply.

The United States demanded last week that buyers of Iranian oil stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions, ending six months of waivers which allowed Iran’s eight biggest buyers, most of them in Asia, to continue importing limited volumes.

The White House said after its Iran move it was working with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to ensure oil markets were “adequately supplied” but traders worried about tight supplies.

Other countries cannot fill Iran’s place in the oil market, Zamaninia said.

“This idea that some countries can fill the empty place of Iran’s oil in the market is incorrect from different aspects, including a technical and political view,” Zamaninia said.

Separately, Zamaninia said the Persian Gulf can only remain an international route for transferring oil if all countries are able to use it.

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri warned on Sunday that Iran could close the strategic Strait of Hormuz shipping route if it faces more "hostility."

"We are not after closing the Strait of Hormuz but if the hostility of enemies increase, we will be able to do so," Baqeri said, adding, "Also if our oil does not go through the strait, other countries' oil will certainly not cross the strait, either."

Reuters and AFP contributed to this story.




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