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January 10, 2019 9:56 am

Oil Minister: Iran Will Not Comply With ‘Illegal’ US Sanctions

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Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh talks to journalists at the beginning of an OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria, Dec. 6, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Leonhard Foeger.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Thursday US sanctions against his country were “fully illegal” and Tehran would not comply with them.

“We believe that we should not comply with the illegal sanctions against Iran,” Zanganeh told a joint news conference in Baghdad with his Iraqi counterpart, Thamer al-Ghadhban.

Zanganeh also said Iran would not discuss the volume or destination of its oil exports while it remained under US sanctions.

“We have discussed today how to improve cooperation with Iraq on different aspects, especially on oil issues,” Zanganeh said.

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Ghadhban, who also said the discussions had touched on energy issues, added that Iraq had not yet reached an agreement with Iran to develop joint oilfields.

He said a decline in global oil prices had stopped and that he expected them to rise gradually.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, of which Iran and Iraq are members, and its Russia-led allies agreed on Dec. 7 to cut output by more than expected, despite pressure from US President Donald Trump to reduce oil prices.

The OPEC deal had hung in the balance on concerns that Iran, whose crude exports have been depleted by US sanctions, would receive no exemption and block the agreement.

Ghadhban said any decision relating to future OPEC cuts would depend on monitoring price developments.

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