Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Pompeo talks tough on Iran while visiting UAE

Iranian First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri Iranian First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri
Jean Garcia | 11 July, 2018, 19:28

The secretary of State's comments came as the US steps up pressure on Iran after President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcConnell to meet with Trump's Supreme Court pick Tuesday Kavanaugh offers lengthy judicial record ahead of bitter confirmation fight Hundreds protest Kavanaugh's nomination outside Supreme Court MORE's announcement in May that he would withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran, which sought to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief.

Pompeo also warned Tehran that "America is committed to keeping sea lines open, keeping the transit of oil available for the entire world", in a response to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's suggestion that any disruption of Iranian oil exports could result in the disruption of oil exports throughout the region.

Iran on Wednesday said it will do its best to ensure the security of oil supply to India, asserting that it has been a reliable energy partner for New Delhi.

The first set of sanctions will take effect on August 6 and the rest, notably in the petroleum sector, following a 180-day "wind-down period" ending on November 4.

Meanwhile, however, the Indian government has become the target of criticism both at home and in Iran after it gave in to USA pressure and refiners began cutting imports. "The zero tolerance policy and the pace with which it is moving no doubt concerns Iran's current crude buyers". The figure is not significantly lower than exports of 2.4 million bpd in April and in May. Overall purchases climbed on a higher intake of crude from Mexico, the United States and Azerbaijan.

"The lifting of force majeure at all the Libyan ports will certainly come as relief from a supply perspective, but it remains to be seen how quickly exports can return to normal", Harry Tchilinguirian, head of oil strategy at BNP Paribas, told Reuters Global Oil Forum.

Oil prices at highest level in three years
Some observers question whether such high rates of production could be implemented quickly and sustained for any length of time. Boosting production this way might risk a decline in oilfield pressure that could result in long-term damage to the reservoirs.

State refiners, accounting for about 60 percent of India's almost 5 million bpd of refining capacity, lifted 10 percent more Iranian volumes in June compared to May, at about 454,000 bpd, the data from the sources showed.

HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd continued to skip Iran oil imports for a second month in June, the data showed. The sources declined to be identified since they are not authorized to speak to the media.

Indian state refiners had cut Iranian oil imports in the 2017/18 financial year because of a dispute over the development rights for an Iranian natural gas field.

But, it still could continue imports if Iran accepts an alternative payment or offers a longer credit period.

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini (L); Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif (C) and political deputy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran Abbas Araghchi take part in a Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) ministerial meeting on the Iran nuclear deal on July 6, 2018 in Vienna, Austria.

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