EghtesadOnline: The United States has made a major error of judgment by politicizing oil and using it as a weapon in already fragile international oil market.
Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh made the statement on Tuesday in parliament, IRNA reported.
“America’s dream to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero will never come true,” Zanganeh said.
Oil prices on Tuesday hit their highest level since November after Washington announced all waivers on imports of sanctions-hit Iranian oil would end next week, pressuring importers to stop buying from Tehran and further tightening global supply, Financial Tribune reported.
Brent crude futures were at $74.25 per barrel, up 21 cents or 0.28% from their last close, after reaching their loftiest level since November at $74.70.
US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $65.94 per barrel, up 39 cents or 0.59%, having marked their strongest since October at $66.19 in earlier trading.
Zanganeh said the United States will not be able to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero.
“With our power, we will work toward breaking America’s sanctions,” the minister was quoted as saying.
The US on Monday demanded that buyers of Iranian oil stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions, ending six months of waivers which allowed Iran’s eight biggest buyers, most of them in Asia, to continue importing limited volumes.
To no avail
All major importers of Iranian oil had been lobbying with the Trump White House for weeks urging it not to end the oil waivers, apparently to no avail.
The US administration granted eight oil-sanctions waivers when it reimposed sanctions on Iran after Trump pulled the US out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal.
The waivers were granted in part to give those countries more time to find alternate energy sources but also to prevent a shock.
The White House said on Monday that the US, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates “have agreed to take timely action to assure that global demand is met as all Iranian oil is removed from the market”.
Trump‘s close aides, namely his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo and the hawkish national security advisor, John Bolton, have for more than two years pushed for unlimited economic pressure on Tehran to force it back to the negotiating table for new nuclear talks.
Over the years Trump and his minions, who are very close to Israel and its dangerous Mideast policies, have never made a secret of their intense hatred for Iran and its foreign policy, namely in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.
Senior officials in Tehran have said on more occasions than one that if Iran cannot sell its oil no other country in the region can. They have stressed that Iran is not looking for military confrontation with the excessively aggressive and hostile US administration “but will defend its trade and commerce in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz” from where substantial volumes of crude oil is exported.