Iran's Rouhani hints at threat to neighbors' exports if oil sales halted


The country accounts for about one-quarter of Iran's oil sales - some 600,000 barrels a day out of the roughly 2.2 million barrels a day that Iran exports - and Chinese demand for oil is growing at a steady clip.

"At the current historical juncture, the new U.S. rulers consider themselves as being superior not only to Iran, but also to our entire region, Muslims and, essentially, all non-Americans", Rouhani said.

"The main goal of the United States by imposing sanctions is to put pressure on people, but they claim that they want to put pressure on the Iranian government, but when they apply sanctions on people's basic needs like medicine, who will be put under pressure?" he asked during the meeting. Iranian officials in the past have threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route, in retaliation for any hostile United States action against Iran. In 2010, Germany joined the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council-Russia, China, Britain, France and the US -to impose tough new sanctions on Iran's banking and financial sectors and to block its ability to get paid for oil sales.

After Trump announced his withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear agreement, Mr Hook said American officials have been visiting several world capitals to convey president Trump's message of cooperation and coordination on the Iran issue.

Hook said more than 50 worldwide companies had committed to leaving the Iranian market, particularly in the oil and financial sectors. That encounter is expected to put flesh on an economic package crafted to buffer USA sanctions, according to Ellie Geranmayeh, a senior fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

The administration will also have to persuade other big buyers, including Japan, South Korea, Turkey, and members of the European Union, to forswear Iranian oil. "We are prepared to work with countries that are reducing their imports on a case-by-case basis", Hook said.

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In recent days, the State Department has wrestled with balancing its desire to squeeze Tehran with reassurances to the global oil market that prices will remain stable. Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation are expected to make up the bulk of the extra oil production, since few other big oil producers have room to ramp up output significantly, if at all.

Rouhani further said that "this situation makes the USA confrontation with Iran very costly, and that the Islamic Republic of Iran, too, is determined to negate the Americans' plots as it always has, since their positions are illogical, illegal, tyrannical, and against worldwide commitments and the UN Security Council's resolutions".

"It is incorrect and unwise to imagine that some day all producer countries will be able to export their surplus oil and Iran will not be able to export its oil", he said.

The White House said on Saturday that Saudi Arabia's King Salman had promised Trump that he can raise oil production if needed, and that Riyadh has 2 million barrels per day of spare capacity. Even the United States, with record oil production of its own, has a limited ability to increase output much more this year due to infrastructure constraints.

"Prices [too] high!" he said. The kingdom now produces some 10 million barrels of crude daily.