Iran news headlines on Wednesday include US National Intelligence Director remarks over Iran incapability of producing atomic bomb secretly; OPEC oil producers replacing Iran oil for India; rise of Iran oil exports; China offer of loan to Islamabad for IP gas pipeline project and Iran seeking for buying U.S. wheat.
Iran cannot produce enough highly-enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon without being found out by the international community, the US National Intelligence Director told Congress. He also countered claims Tehran had decided to build an atomic bomb.
Developments in Iran’s nuclear capabilities intended to “enhance its security, prestige, and regional influence” would ultimately “give the Islamic Republic the ability to develop a nuclear weapon,” US National Intelligence Director James Clapper told a Senate panel during an annual report on global threats on Tuesday.
OPEC’s biggest oil producers are in talks to supply extra crude to India as the nation prepares to halt purchases from Iran because of global sanctions, four people with knowledge of the matter said.
Indian refiners, which are waiting for an order from the oil ministry to stop buying Iranian cargoes, are discussing annual term contracts with Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait for the year starting April 1, the people said this week, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential. While the volume hasn’t been set, the Indian companies have been told there is enough supply to cover the loss of Iranian crude, the people said.
Iranian oil shipments advanced 13 percent last month even as the U.S. implemented sanctions complicating sales from the Persian Gulf country, according to the International Energy Agency.
Countries purchased 1.28 million barrels a day from Iran in February, compared with an upwardly revised 1.13 million barrels daily in January, the Paris-based adviser to 28 oil-consuming nations said in a report today.
China has offered Pakistan a USD-500-million loan to complete its joint gas pipeline project with Iran, despite threats by the United States to impose sanctions against Islamabad.
“In a major development, China has offered [the] loan,” an official at the Pakistan embassy in Iran told the Express Tribune.
Iran’s state grain buyer has been in talks with export houses aimed at buying around 110,000 tonnes of U.S.-origin milling wheat, traders said, even as the United States and Europe impose toughened sanctions to stem Tehran’s nuclear programme.
Iranian wheat imports are traditionally handled by the private sector and government, but the state has taken a bigger role with purchases in the past year after disruption to trade finance caused by toughened Western sanctions targeting the country’s disputed nuclear programme.
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