Iran’s president says oil exports have doubled since August

Iran, Tehran (AP) —Iran’s president said on Monday that he was exporting twice as much oil as he was in office in August, despite strict US sanctions on oil exports.

Ebrahim Raisi insisted in a live interview on state television without elaborating on the amount of oil being exported.

“Oil sales have doubled. I’m not worried about oil sales,” he said.

Raisi’s remarks were made when international markets were seeking alternatives to Russian crude oil following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent western sanctions. Iran’s crude oil, which has a composition similar to Russian grade, is competing in the oil market.

As a result of war and supply concerns, oil prices have skyrocketed to their highest levels in years. The international benchmark Brent crude reached nearly $ 140 in March, adding to the challenge of imposing sanctions. Brent was trading on Monday for over $ 105 a barrel.

Oil storms have benefited Iran’s finances. Iran says it now sells billions of dollars more crude oil than it used to, despite US sanctions.

The Central Bank of Iran released statistics in early February, suggesting that oil sales in the first half of this year were $ 18.6 billion, compared with $ 8.5 billion in the first half of the year, according to the state-run IRAN newspaper. It is believed that much of that oil is heading for China. Venezuela is also accepting Iranian tankers at its port..

Iran’s oil minister, Javad Owji, told local media in April that the country’s oil exports have skyrocketed by 40% since Raisi took office.

Four years ago, then-President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran’s world powers and imposed drastic sanctions on Iran, including for the oil sector, the lifeline of the economy. bottom. Iran’s crude oil exports plummeted, and international oil companies abandoned their deal with Tehran, weakening its economy.

With the nuclear deal, Tehran has severely restricted uranium enrichment in exchange for lifting economic sanctions. This includes sanctions on significant oil sales.

Negotiations in Vienna to restore tattered transactions were almost complete in early March, but negotiations were stalled. Negotiators have not yet reunited in the Austrian capital. The European Union coordinator for negotiations is expected in Tehran later this week in the final effort to break the deadlock.

Iran has made the sanctioned oil industry a central issue in the negotiations and aims to make Iran’s oil easier and without any barriers.