1143 GMT August 19, 2019
Iran is past the peak of unilateral US sanctions’ difficulty and despite Washington’s claims about having reduced the country’s oil exports to zero, is witnessing constant increase in its overseas sales of crude.
This is what confirmed and stressed by the head of the Central Bank of Iran, Abdolnaser Hemmati.
Many experts also hold that the negative impacts of the sanctions on Iran have significantly reduced.
Following its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018, the US announced that it seeks to decrease Iran’s oil exports to zero and, unofficially, called on Saudi Arabia and other producers of OPEC to raise their crude output. Washington, however, refrained from announcing any determined figure for oil production increase by OPEC members. Since then, although the global oil market has experienced wild fluctuations, Trump has failed to achieve his desired result.
A few while ago, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh explicitly announced that although blocking Iran’s oil exports completely is US wish, it is a pipe dream that will never come true.
“Iran shows no hostility toward any of the regional countries. However, two countries in the region seek to, by issuing statements and making different remarks, announce that Iran’s exclusion from the global oil market will not have any impact on the market and that they have the capacity to compensate for Iran’s reduced oil exports. Such claims and remarks, nevertheless, fail to be true.”
He noted that the Islamic Republic has never used oil as a political tool, adding whoever uses oil this way will have to pay for the damages of such a move.
The minister said some countries seek to weaken three main OPEC members, a move which will, per se, destroy the organization itself.
Stressing that the arrowhead of US threats are targeting Iranian people, he called on all Iranians to cooperate with each other and surmount the difficulties.
Recently, Zanganeh announced that not only Saudi Arabia and the UAE, but no other country can compensate for Iran’s absence from the global oil market.
He noted that the international oil market has become unstable and fragile, adding these countries are doing their best to prevent prices from rising through propaganda and by downplaying the seriousness of events.
“They are keeping oil prices low by means of force.”
These are the moves some states are making in the global market to safeguard the interests of Israel and the US, he said.
“This works to the detriment of people, OPEC members, oil producers and even crude consumers as it creates instability in the market. Market fragility is in the interest of no country.”
Recently, Hemmati announced that Iran is past the peak of unilateral US sanctions’ difficulty and despite Washington’s claims about having reduced the country’s oil exports to zero, is witnessing constant increase in its overseas sales of crude.
Commenting on US sanctions against the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, he said Washington has done whatever it could to impose more sanctions on Iran.
The CBI head said the fact Iranian people do not give much importance to US sanctions is evident from the condition of the domestic foreign currency market.
“Today, there is no tumult in [Iran’s] forex market. The people have realized that enemies have done whatever they could.”
He added the people have understood that the sanctions cannot put more pressure on them.
Hemmati said we do not export oil to Europe and, therefore, cannot have imports from them.
“One solution is that they purchase oil from us, with which they said they have problem. The second one is that they extend a credit line to us, so that we can buy goods from them. In case they make any of these two moves, INSTEX will become operational in less than a week.”
Commenting on the same issue, an Iranian energy expert, Khatibi, told ISNA that in the previous sanctions period, Iran managed to export one million barrels of oil per day.
“We can do the same thing again as we have the experience of overcoming such a difficult situation.”
He noted that those who impose the sanctions know that such punitive measures will only be effective in the short-term: “After a while, the country, which is under the sanctions, will adapt itself to the new situation and can work out solutions to bypass them.”
Khatibi said under the present circumstances, through effective planning, negotiations and closer cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Oil Ministry Iran can resolve the problems, bypass the sanctions and even expand its oil exports.
* This article by Sahar Babaei, an Iranian journalist, was first published by ISNA.