Iran receives more airplanes ahead of renewed US sanctions

Sean Reid
August 5, 2018

China has rejected US requests to cut Iranian oil imports, damaging Washington's efforts to isolate Tehran.

Meanwhile, the tensions between Washington and Beijing is scaring hedge funds away from an increasingly volatile oil market, according to Bloomberg, with money managers' total positions in the USA benchmark and Brent having slid to the lowest since 2016.

Repeating the pattern of past weeks, crude prices on Friday ended the week down by 0.4 percent for West Texas Intermediate and 1.5 percent for Brent, this time in reaction to China state oil major Sinopec cutting its purchases of us product due to the trade spat between both countries.

Iran will not sit down for negotiations under pressures, in particular with U.S. President Donald Trump who "has breached obligations", Iran's Foreign Ministry Bahram Qasemi said Saturday. They have also expressed concern about keeping open the waterways off Yemen where Iranian-backed rebels have attacked oil tankers.


A State Department official confirmed Francis Fannon, assistant secretary of state at the US Bureau of Energy Resources, was recently in China to discuss Iranian sanctions.

The rhetoric between the USA and Iran remains heated, despite Trump tweeting last week that he would be willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

"China always holds the view that JCPOA is a multilateral deal which is verified and approved by the United Nations Security Council and accords the common interests of all parties and the global community, which must be respected and safeguarded so as to maintain the authority of the United Nations, the effectiveness of multilateral deals and the credibility of the worldwide rules", he was quoted by the official Xinhua News Agency as saying.

He also said Tehran expects the European countries to bring forward a practical package of proposals to salvage Iranian nuclear deal, also known as JCPOA, after the USA pull-out in May.


But all Iranians are concerned about the struggling economy, especially since the United States walked out of the nuclear deal in May and announced it would reimpose full sanctions in two stages.

"China and Iran unwaveringly maintain normal trade and economic ties".

Reuters reported last week that India's oil industry is preparing for a blanket cut in Iranian imports, although officials from the two countries continue to hold talks on the issue. This accounted for 35 percent of Iranian exports last month, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.

Asked about the future of diplomatic relations between Tehran and Riyadh, Qassemi said Switzerland has been representing Iranian interests in Saudi Arabia under an agreement reached with Bern eight months ago.


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