Iranian official: We'll sell as much oil as we can

Iranian vice president admits U.S. sanctions would hurt the economy but promises to sell as much oil as possible.

Elad Benari,

Eshaq Jahangiri
Eshaq Jahangiri

Iranian vice president Eshaq Jahangiri said on Tuesday that U.S. sanctions would hurt the economy but also promised to “sell as much oil as we can” and protect Iran’s banking system, Reuters reported.

Jahangiri accused Washington of trying to stop Iran’s petrochemical, steel and copper exports, and to disrupt its ports and shipping services, saying, “America seeks to reduce Iran’s oil sales, our vital source of income, to zero.”

He added that it would be a mistake to think the U.S. “economic war” against Iran will have no impact, but also stressed: “We will make Americans understand this year that they cannot stop Iranian oil sales.”

In May, President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 deal under which sanctions on Iran were lifted in return for curbs to its nuclear program. Washington has since told countries they must stop buying Iranian oil from November 4 or face financial measures.

European signatories to the deal are trying to save the accord, which they see as crucial to forestalling an Iranian nuclear weapon.

Tehran has demanded that Europe come up with an economic package to offset the effects of the U.S. withdrawal but so far has found Europe’s proposals to be unsatisfactory.

Meanwhile, Iran’s foreign ministry and the central bank have taken measures to facilitate banking operations despite the U.S. sanctions, Jahangiri said on Tuesday, without elaborating.

The Iranian oil ministry said last week that it exported 2.2 million barrels per day of crude oil in June. The figure is not significantly lower than exports of 2.4 million bpd in April and in May.

Regarding the European efforts to save the deal, Jahangiri said, according to Reuters, “We think the Europeans will act in a way to meet the Iranian demands, but we should wait and see.”