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September 1, 2021 4:55 pm
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Iran Determined to Increase its Oil Exports Despite US Sanctions: Oil Minister

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

A general view of Abadan oil refinery in southwest Iran, is pictured from Iraqi side of Shatt al-Arab in Al-Faw south of Basra, Iraq September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Essam Al-Sudani

Iran is determined to increase its oil exports despite sanctions imposed by the United States on Tehran’s crude sales, Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji said on Wednesday, adding that the use of oil sanctions as a “political tool” would harm the market.

“There is strong will in Iran to increase oil exports despite the unjust and illegal US sanctions,” Owji told state TV, without elaborating on how Tehran planned to overcome sanctions.

“I promise that good things will happen regarding Iran’s oil sales in the coming months.”

Oil exports, Iran’s main revenue source, have plunged under US sanctions, which were reimposed three years ago after Washington abandoned Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six powers.

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Tehran does not disclose its crude export data, but assessments based on shipping and other sources suggest a fall from about 2.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2018 to as low as 200,000 bpd. One survey put exports at 600,000 bpd in June.

“Iran will return to its pre-sanctions crude production level as soon as US sanctions on Iran are lifted,” Owji said.

“We are against using oil as a political tool that would harm the oil market.”

Since April 9, Tehran and six world powers have been in talks to revive the nuclear pact. The sixth round of the negotiations adjourned on June 20. The next round of talks has yet to be scheduled.

Owji said Iran backed a decision made by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, a group known as OPEC+, on Wednesday to stick to a policy from July of phasing out record output cuts by adding 400,000 bpd a month to the market.

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