The Debate - "Iran nuclear deal positive achievement for all parties"

Larry Hoffman
July 5, 2018

The comments by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and the unexpected announcement by the UAE's oil-rich capital Abu Dhabi came as U.S. benchmark crude traded around $75 a barrel.

"This is really a baseless fantasy", he added, condemning an "unjust" scenario in which all oil producers are allowed to export crude except Iran.

The UAE, an American-allied federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula, hosts some 5,000 USA troops.

The withdrawal has paved the way for new USA sanctions against Tehran and foreign companies that trade or invest with it, causing several major businesses, including in Austria, to stop activity in the country.

Rouhani added that if Iran's crude oil exports were threatened, the rest of the Mideast's would be as well.

Other signatory countries are now with Rouhani in Vienna to discuss how the deal can be maintained.

The EU, which still supports the Iran nuclear accord, sought to shield European companies from U.S. sanctions, but the companies that actually buy Iranian oil are already limiting their purchases for fear of falling afoul of the U.S. Treasury.

The United States has told countries to cut all imports of Iranian oil from November and is unlikely to offer any exemptions, a senior State Department official said last Tuesday as the Trump administration ramped up pressure on allies to cut off funding to Iran. Oil remains Iran's lifeblood and supplies roughly 40 percent of the government's revenue.

The sources said there was no doubt that the USA was going to put pressure on India and other countries which import oil from Iran, noting, "the question is what do we see as a national interest and how do we explain our case to the US".

Washington insists the world has enough spare oil capacity to replace Iranian crude, and Trump has said that he has persuaded Saudi Arabia to balance the market by boosting its own production.

MP Assadollah Qarehkhani was quoted by media as saying that a special committee had been formed in the Parliament that would deal with bartering oil with goods, adding that this was meant to help Iran overcome the impacts of upcoming United States sanctions.

"For now, that's the plan", an European Union source said. Rouhani has said Iran will stay in the accord if its interests are preserved.

Foreign ministers from the five remaining signatories will meet Iranian officials in Vienna on Friday to discuss how to keep the accord alive.

China is Iran's top trading partner and No 1 oil and non-oil buyer, as well as major investor.

Rohani, accompanied by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, is holding talks with Austrian leaders in Vienna after a stop in Switzerland.

The administration's tough new stance on Iranian exports, which goes far beyond what the Obama administration demanded and what most market experts were expecting, suggests that Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia have agreed to make up whatever Iranian production is taken out of the market, Vakhshouri said.

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