“I am certain one of the reasons for the #US to impose sanctions on Iran has been to make room for its #shale_oil in the market; therefore, the sanctions issue is not merely a political matter, but rather an economic one,” Zanganeh tweeted, as reported by Press TV.
Since September, the United States has been working to bring Iran’s oil exports down to zero as part of Washington’s “maximum pressure” on Tehran.
Iran’s oil industry, including its oil, gas and petrochemical sectors, is on the frontline of the fight against the US, which believes choking off Iran’s main source of income would force the country to negotiate a new nuclear deal.
US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook last week boasted that sanctions targeting Iran’s oil sector have led to more than $50 billion in revenue losses, hindered Iran’s refined-oil products, and undermined foreign investment.
“Both upstream and downstream investments in Iran’s oil and gas sector have stopped,” Hook said. “Foreign investors have almost entirely pulled out of Iran due to the risks and billions in investments have been lost,” he added.
Under President Donald Trump, the United States has increasingly been using sanctions as a weapon of choice. The country is also weaponizing the dollar through its trade-restricting policies with other countries.
On Saturday, the US Treasury Secretary acknowledged that Washington was using sanctions as an alternative to military confrontation.
“The reason why we’re using sanctions is because they are an important alternative for world military conflicts. And I believe it’s worked,” Mnuchin was quoted as saying on the sidelines of the Doha Forum in Qatar. “So whether it’s North Korea, whether it’s Iran or other places in the world, we take the responsibility very seriously.”
In 2017, Trump laid out his administration’s new mantra of “energy dominance” by tapping the country’s shale formations to bolster Washington’s geopolitical influence.
The controversial policy has included boosting domestic production through rollbacks of environmental regulations in order to build an international clout in energy markets.
US oil output has risen to more than 12 million barrels per day for the first time since 1970. Natural gas output has also soared, making America the world’s top producer of the fuel.