Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

India cuts Iranian oil importsin June ahead of U.S. sanctions

Iran promises to sell as much oil as it can in wake of US sanctions Pompeo talks tough on Iran while visiting Emirates
Ginger Lawrence | 12 July, 2018, 15:26

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on a visit to the United Arab Emirates, said Tuesday that the US wants to show Iran its actions have "a real high cost".

Iran's Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri said that the United States pledges to halt any sale of Iranian oil will undoubtedly have an effect, acknowledging the impact of economic sanctions which will begin gradually next month. "We're very confident that we'll be able to do that without market disruptions and working closely with the Saudis and other oil producing nations to make sure that we have a well-supplied oil market".

This is especially true because the USA never really had much justification for withdrawing from the nuclear deal in the first place, beyond President Trump personally having problems with it. Pompeo's primary ammunition in the talks will be assurances that other nations, mostly Saudi Arabia, will replace Iran's oil exports on the market. "It will be sanctionable activity". Pompeo said that the US remained committed to ensuring that shipping lanes remained open.

And then he explained that Washington may consider waiver requests from some countries who sought exemptions.

"That's the commitment we have had for decades", he said.

"The one that we are most focused on today is. that we deny Iran the financial capacity to continue this bad behavior", Pompeo said.

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"Global consumption relies on imports from Iran, which pumps 2.4 billion barrels a day, and that the world may not be able to accommodate the total cut-off the USA is advocating", the newspaper observed.

The US under President Donald Trump has taken a much-harder line on Tehran, including pulling out of the nuclear deal with world powers.

"In our meeting with the Saudi energy minister, we discussed maintaining a well-supplied oil market to guard against volatility".

Iran on Tuesday indicated withdrawal of all privileges extended to India in bilateral trade, including payments in rupee and long-term credit, if New Delhi cuts back on oil imports from Tehran in the wake of USA sanctions on oil trade that will kick in on November 4.

Disappointed at India for not making promised investments in Iran's Chabahar port, Iran on Tuesday warned India of ending "special privileges". While in Europe last week, Rouhani said any disruption to Iran's oil exports would result in the whole region's exports being disrupted.

But the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) reported this week that Iranian oil exports may decrease to 500,000 bpd when the sanctions kick in. The two firms significantly cut their imports from Iran in June. The largest shipments went to China, the world's top energy consumer, followed by India, South Korea and Japan.