Reuters in a report on Monday quoted sources with knowledge of Iran-EU talks as saying that Iran insists on exporting at least 1.5 million bpd of oil as a condition for staying in the international nuclear deal.
According to four European diplomatic sources, the figure was communicated in recent meetings between Iranian and Western officials, including Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, but has not been set down in writing.
Reacting to the report on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Moussavi said Tehran’s “points of views and rightful demands have been clearly and explicitly stated” in President Hassan Rouhani’s May 8 letter to the remaining signatories to the nuclear deal about the future of Tehran’s stay in the international document following Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from it, Presstv reported.
The Iranian spokesperson further warned of the adverse consequences of such misreporting.
“Paying attention to these inaccurate and imprecise news fabrication and speculations is not constructive but can rather destroy the conditions needed for serious diplomacy at the current circumstances,” Moussavi said.
The United States re-imposed its harsh sanctions against Iran in two phases last year after US President Donald Trump withdrew Washington in May 2018 from the multilateral nuclear agreement, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOAI)
The US administration moved to tighten its bans on Iran’s oil sector on April 22, when it said in a statement that, in a bid to reduce Iran’s oil exports to “zero,” buyers of Iranian oil must stop their purchases by May 1 or face sanctions.
The move ended six months of waivers, which allowed Iran’s eight biggest buyers —Turkey, China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan — to continue importing limited volumes.
Despite Washington’s withdrawal, Iran chose to stay in the JCPOA, giving an opportunity to the remaining signatories — Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China — to make up for Washington’s absence and guarantee Iran’s interests under the accord.
However, after Iran’s partners in the deal failed to adopt practical measures to protect Iran against US bans, Tehran on May 8 notified them that it was suspending the implementation of some if its commitments under the JCPOA through the letter penned by President Rouhani.
The letter announced that Iran would stop exporting excess uranium and heavy water, setting a 60-day deadline for the five remaining parties to fulfill its side of the bargain for Tehran to resume the commitments it has suspended within the JCPOA’s framework.
Iranian authorities have downplayed Washington’s threat to cut Tehran’s oil revenues to “zero,” saying the country has its own ways of circumventing the American bans and selling its crude.
“In the first place, such attempts will lead nowhere, and we are capable of exporting as much oil as we need and want,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.