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                                        Volume. 12116

Iran oil minister vows to bypass sanctions after new U.S. curbs
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DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Tehran would continue to bypass sanctions after the United States penalized a number of companies for violating sanctions imposed on Iran, mostly in connection with its nuclear program.

On Friday, the United States imposed a fresh round of curbs on a number of Iranian and foreign companies, banks and airlines. The new measures came just over two weeks before talks between Iran and six world powers on Tehran’s nuclear program resume in New York.

“The sanctions are cruel and illegal and we fulfill our duty for circumventing the sanctions,” Zanganeh was cited as saying by the oil ministry’s news website Shana.

“We do not recognize the sanctions,” he said, referring to Friday’s new curbs.

Western sanctions imposed on Iran to hamper its nuclear program have blocked sales of its oil to the West and made it increasingly difficult for Iran’s fleet to obtain insurance and financing for deals with Asian buyers.

Despite that, Iran shipped 29.4 percent more crude to major Asian customers in July from a year earlier, with China, Tehran’s biggest client, accounting for most of the increase.

Iran and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China, and Russia failed to meet a July 20 deadline to negotiate a comprehensive agreement under which Tehran would scale back its nuclear activities in exchange for gradually ending the sanctions.

The new deadline was extended to Nov. 24. Iran and the six world powers are set to resume negotiations in mid-September around the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York.

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