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  • Oil tankers pass through the Strait of Hormuz, Dec. 21, 2018.

    Oil tankers pass through the Strait of Hormuz, Dec. 21, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 5 January 2019

For months the Persian country has grappled with freshly-imposed U.S. sanctions after President Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal.

"Despite U.S. pressures on the Iranian oil market, the number of potential buyers of Iranian oil has significantly increased due to a competitive market, greed, and pursuit of more profit," Amir Hossein Zamaninia, Iran’s deputy oil minister for trade and international affairs, said Saturday.

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Although countries granted waivers from the United States to continue buying a certain amount of Iranian oil imports have been complying with United States sanctions, Tehran was hopeful to find new buyers, Zamaninia said.

In May of last year, the U.S. withdrew from the Iranian Nuclear Deal, snapping sanctions in place to choke Iran’s oil and banking industries while temporarily allowing eight nations to keep buying crude from the Middle Eastern country.

"China, India, Japan, South Korea and other countries that were granted waivers from America to import Iranian oil are not willing to buy even one barrel more from Iran," Zamaninia told news agency SHANA.

Italy, Greece, Taiwan, and Turkey were also granted the 180-day exemptions.

Washington has sought to use sanctions to bring Iranian oil exports to zero in order to curb Tehran's missile and nuclear programs and counter its growing military and political influence in the Middle East.

Iran has urged European countries still committed to the nuclear deal to oppose the sanctions by creating a financial mechanism, known as Special Purpose Vehicle for trade or SPV, that facilitates payments of Iranian oil sales.

Zamaninia said that SPV would be "helpful but could not resolve the problems since U.S. influence will affect any European action."

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