Zanganeh denies reports of decline in Iran’s oil exports

June 24, 2019

TEHRAN - Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Monday that reports about recent declines in Iranian oil exports are not true.

“The news is absolutely wrong,” Zanganeh was quoted as saying by IRIB.

The minister did not provide any figures for the country’s oil exports in the face of U.S. sanctions. “Giving a figure is not in our interests,” he added.

In late May, Reuters reported that Iranian crude oil exports fell in May to 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) or lower.

The United States reimposed sanctions on Iran in November after pulling out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Tehran and six world powers, aiming to cut Iran’s sales to zero.

The United States also told buyers of Iranian oil to stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions, ending six months of waivers that had allowed Iran’s biggest customers to import limited volumes.

However, in the same month, Iranian oil ministry announced that the country is mobilizing all its resources to sell its oil in a gray market, countering unjust and illegitimate U.S. sanctions.

Deputy Director of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) Hadi Haqshenas said in late May that crude oil loadings and exports from the country’s ports has not been halted and the exports are ongoing just like before.

“Perhaps the destinations of oil cargoes from our ports have changed but the legal exports are ongoing,” Haqshenas said.
The official noted that the oil ministry has adopted new tactics and new destinations in shipping its oil exports following the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions, giving no details of the new tactics or destinations.

“Of course, it cannot be denied that the loading of oil and products has fallen compared to the past, but the shipping of oil cargoes from our ports has definitely not stopped,” he added.
Iranian oil industry has been under pressure from the U.S. efforts to isolate the country by reimposing sanctions. 

EF/MA