Oil minister warns US against continued pressure on Iran

Tasnim – Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh cautioned the US administration against continued pressure and sanctions against the Islamic Republic, saying such moves will negatively affect the global oil market.

Speaking to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) on Monday, Zanganeh pointed to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent remarks about Washington’s plans to increase pressure on Tehran and said, “We will continue our work and what matters is that the (global oil) market is fragile.”

“Mr. Trump has to decide whether he wants to put pressure on Iran or keep fuel prices at US gas stations low…,” the oil minister said.

“Currently, Venezuela has some problems,” Zanganeh said, adding that Russia has been sanctioned and there is still unrest in Libya.

He went on to say that in some parts of the US, oil production has stopped, adding that these developments indicate that the situation of supply and demand is “very fragile”.

“If they want to increase pressure against Iran, this fragility will increase unpredictably,” the oil minister stated.

Iran’s exports of crude oil were higher in early 2019 as some customers have increased purchases due to waivers from US sanctions, according to media reports.

The US government imposed a new round of sanctions on Iran in November 2018.

In May last year, the US president pulled his country out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear deal that was achieved in Vienna in 2015 after years of negotiations among Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).

The US had announced plans to drive Iran’s oil exports down to zero, but backed off from its policy and granted waivers to at least 8 countries that import Iranian oil.