TEHRAN (Press Shia) – While a fresh wave of US sanctions with the purpose of driving Iranian oil exports down to zero is looming, the White House is still far from that target, as Tehran was still selling up to 1.9 million barrels per day of crude in September, a leading business website reported.
In a report on Tuesday, CNBC said the US government appears to be far from the purpose of pushing Iran’s oil exports down to zero as the Trump administration’s new sanctions against Tehran are going to take effect on November 4.
Although Iranian oil exports dropped by about 800,000 barrels per day from their 2018 peak, Iran was still selling lots of oil in September, the report said, noting that China and India, the two biggest buyers of Iranian crude, are widely expected to keep purchasing crude from the Islamic Republic.
Just days before a White House deadline for the Iranian oil customers, the US is still a long way from achieving its stated goal of zeroing out Iranian oil sales, CNBC said.
According to estimates by investment banks, tanker-tracking firms and the International Energy Agency, Iran was selling roughly 1.7 million to 1.9 million bpd of crude oil and condensate, a super light form of oil, in September.
Along with China and India, countries like Turkey, Italy, Spain, Greece and Japan have also kept purchasing Iran's crude.
India imported nearly 600,000 bpd from Iran in September, the reports said, noting that the Indian government is allowing state refiners to use Iranian tankers and insurers to import Iranian crude. India is also seeking sanctions waivers.
On May 8, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which 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), and announced plans for new sanctions against Tehran.
The White House has also announced plans to get as many countries as possible down to zero Iranian oil imports and launch a campaign of “maximum economic and diplomatic pressure” on Iran.
Iranian officials have underlined that the US plan to cut the country’s crude exports to zero is not going to happen.
Earlier this month, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said the Islamic Republic’s oil exports cannot be stopped, adding that that no country has “the capacity to provide a replacement for the Iranian oil in the world’s demanding market.”