Tehran has vowed to ‘defeat’ attempts to curb its oil revenues by allowing private companies to export it. Iran also reminded Saudi Arabia that it was bound to an OPEC agreement to only boost exports collectively.

Offshore drilling facility in the Persian Gulf

Iran announced on Sunday that it would permit private companies to export crude oil as Tehran attempts to thwart US sanctions against the country’s oil industry. Iran also urged fellow OPEC nations, including rival Saudi Arabia, to stick toan agreement made last month to collectively boost output.

“We want to defeat America’s efforts…to stop Iran’s oil exports,” said First Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri in a televised statement. “The Iranian government has a plan.”

After the US withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal in May, it said it would reimpose economic sanctions against Tehran by November.

Watch video01:02

US calls on countries to stop importing Iranian oil

Trump: Riyadh promises to make up the difference

The announcement by Jahangiri came just a day after US President Donald Trump said that Saudi Arabia had agreed to increase its oil exports to make up the difference lost to the sanctions.

“Just spoke to King Salman of Saudi Arabia and explained to him that, because of the turmoil & dysfunction in Iran and Venezuela, I am asking that Saudi Arabia increase oil production, maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels, to make up the difference,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Jahangiri greeted Trump’s comments with derision, saying: “They’re begging the Saudis to raise their output so that if Iran’s quota decreases nothing will happen to the markets.”

At the same time, Iranian Oil Minister Bijhan Zanganeh reminded Riyadh that “any increase in the production by any member country beyond commitments stipulated in OPEC’s decisions … would constitute a breach of the agreement.”

Iran is among the nations with the highest oil serves, along with Saudi Arabia, which is the world’s leading exporter of oil.

es/ng (AFP, Reuters)



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