Iran’s President: No Oil Will Be Exported from the Gulf, if Iranian Exports Are Halted

Hassan Rouhani, Iran's PresidentImage Courtesy: Press and Information Office of the President of Russia

Iran is likely to disrupt oil shipments from the Persian Gulf if the United States continues with its campaign to halt Tehran’s oil exports.

“We will sell our oil and they (the United States) are not able to stop our oil exports,” Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran, said addressing the people of Semnan Province in Shahrood City on Tuesday, December 4.

 “If the U.S. wants to stop our oil sales, no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf.”

The Trump Administration reimposed sanctions on Iran’s energy, shipbuilding, shipping, and banking sectors, on November 5, as a way of pressuring Iran to abandon its nuclear program, development of ballistic missiles and other “malign activities.”

Specifically, 50 Iranian banks and their foreign and domestic subsidiaries as well as over 200 persons and vessels in Iran’s shipping and energy sectors have been blacklisted.

In the wake of the reimposition of sanctions, the U.S. Department of State’s Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, said that Iranian tankers calling at international ports and passing through waterways pose a major risk as they have lost access to insurance on the international market.

Furthermore, the country’s tanker fleet has been dubbed a floating liability amid reports that Iranian tankers are switching off their AIS transponders at sea as a way of avoiding U.S. sanctions. Namely, when ships go dark it is harder to tract their movement and potential breach of sanctions. The tactic has been used during previous sanctions in 2012, Hook said.

By exerting pressure on Iran, the U.S. is trying to isolate the country and expects its oil exports to plummet slashing Iran’s oil revenue.

However, Rouhani said on Tuesday that the recent sanctions have not severed ties between Iran and its neighbors.

“America is not able to sever our business relations in the world and the region and they must understand that this land will keep its cultural, political and economic relations with the countries of the region and the world,” he added.

“The U.S. is trying to separate Iran from its neighbours, Europe, China and India, promoting Iranophobia, while we won’t be enemy to our neighbours.”

Eight jurisdictions have been temporarily exempted by the Trump administration from U.S. sanctions for importing Iranian oil. The six months period of exemption is granted to China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey.

The allotments were given because the said parties demonstrated “significant reductions in their crude oil and cooperation on many other fronts and have made important moves towards getting to zero crude oil importation.”

As disclosed on the website of Iran’s President, the United States keeps sending messages from different channels for holding negotiations.

However, Rouhani is quoted as saying at the meeting of the Administrative Council of Semnan Province that Iran would resume talks with the U.S., only “if U.S. surrenders to what is right.”

World Maritime News Staff

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