Iran vows to thwart US efforts to block its oil exports
02 July, 2018, 18:52
Hopes in the Trump administration are that other Middle Eastern producers will step in to compensate for the shortfall in supply, notably Saudi Arabia and possibly its Gulf allies.
On Fox, Trump directed blame at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, of which Saudi Arabia is a member.
Trump, who is spending the weekend at his golf property in New Jersey, said in a tweet on Saturday that Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia had agreed to produce more oil.
"We're not granting waivers", the official said.
The White House later walked back the president's comments, saying the king said his country can raise oil production if needed.
"Iranian crude oil will be offered on the bourse and the private sector can export it in a transparent way", First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri told an economic event in Tehran broadcasted live on state television.
"The [Iranian] government has a plan. and God willing we are certain that we will be able to sell as much oil as we want", Jahangiri said.
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Trump announced earlier this year that he would pull the USA out of the pact, which offered Tehran sanctions relief in exchange for curbing its nuclear program.
"Anyone trying to take away Iran's oil market (share) would be committing great treachery against Iran and will one day pay for it", Jahangiri warned in an open reference to Saudi Arabia.
On Tuesday a senior State Department official described tightening the noose on Tehran as "one of our top national security priorities".
Trump threatened in an interview that aired on Sunday to put sanctions on European companies that do business with Iran.
He also mocked the USA for "begging the Saudis" to increase oil production to drive down rising global oil prices.
In December 2016, OPEC, Russia, and other major producers agreed to curb production by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) for six months. The U.S. wants to cut Iran's oil export, but everyone, with even a limited knowledge of worldwide affairs, knows that such thing is impossible, the official added.
"I hereby request your excellency to remind OPEC member countries to adhere to their commitments. refrain from any unilateral measures undermining the unity and independence of the OPEC", he added.
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Since then, though, the Trump administration has upped the ante by signaling a tough line on closing down Iranian production. The development comes days after Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, agreed to go all in with production.
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