Published: Tue, May 07, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Iran all set to sell oil in a 'gray market'

Iran all set to sell oil in a 'gray market'

Last week, it said it would stop waivers for countries buying Iranian oil, in an attempt to push Iran's oil exports to zero.

Geneva: Iran will restart part of its halted nuclear programme in response to the USA withdrawal from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal but does not itself plan to pull out of the agreement, the state-run IRIB news agency reported on Monday.

Over the past ten years, Tehran is reported to have sold its oil at prices far below global benchmarks using little-known private companies to facilitate quietly executed deals, according to Reuters.

Iran has threatened "reciprocal actions" against US sanctions, which could mean restarting some of its nuclear programme.

Asked if the US would consider selling its crude to India at discount rates to offset the expected shortfall in Iranian supply, Ross said, as carried by Reuters: "Oil is owned by private people so the government can not force people to make concessionary prices". It also appears created to force Iran to halt heavy water production as well as uranium enrichment in order to adhere to limits on the latter under the JCPOA.

Ironically, the evidence-free claim comes as the U.S. steered a carrier strike group into the Persian Gulf to "send a message" to Tehran - not exactly an olive branch gesture in itself. The statement said that any action even by a group Iran supports would be deemed as an Iranian action. According to state-run Xinhua news agency, Iranian oil imports make up some 6 percent of China's total crude imports, making the Islamic Republic China's seventh largest oil importer.

Under the 2015 deal, Iran restricted the capacity of its uranium enrichment programme - widely seen as a route to developing a nuclear weapon - in exchange for a lifting of most worldwide sanctions. The aim of the latter is to keep Iran's stockpile of enriched uranium under the 300-kilogram limit set out in the nuclear accord.

An informed sourced said that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is likely to announce the country' plans to retaliate against U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal (JCPOA) on a live TV program on Wednesday. The president will cite specifically Articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA.

Washington has also placed sanctions on oil exports from Venezuela, a founding member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Britain, France and Germany have set up a special payments system to let European businesses operate in Iran and avoid United States sanctions, although few firms have been willing to incur Washington's wrath.

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