TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the fresh round of US sanctions against Iran have failed to cut Tehran's oil exports to zero.
“The US was forced to withdraw a claim that it can cut Iran’s oil exports to zero (after it exempted several countries from its new sanctions on Tehran),” Zarif said on Monday, addressing the Iranian parliament in an open session.
Iran's oil sales were set to drop to zero today, he added, noting, "This has been postponed for six months".
The sanctions, which went into effect on November 4, were supposed to shut down Iranian oil exports, but they failed to do so after Washington, over fear of a supply crunch in global markets, granted eight countries temporary exemptions to allow them to buy from Tehran without any punishment.
Companies and governments were given six months to wind down their energy-related trade when sanctions were announced in May following President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
The Iranian minister further said Trump pulled out of the agreement as it "fully served the Iranian nation’s interests".
Iranian oil production and exports peaked at 3.8 million and 2.4 million barrels a day, respectively, in the second quarter of this year, according to data from OPEC and the International Energy Agency. That means exports have fallen by only about 900,000 barrels per day.