IRAN SANCTIONS DOWN
PLATTS - Iran played down the impact of looming US sanctions on its economy with a senior official saying on Sunday that the current high oil prices should make up for any fall in oil sales, according to state-owned news agency IRNA.
"One of the things that the US didn't want to happen but did, was increase in oil prices. The US president thinks that Saudi Arabia and other countries are capable of preventing oil prices from going up by replacing Iran's oil," Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri was quoted as saying by IRNA.
"But you see that even without the sanctions [having started], Iran's oil has reached over $80/b. It means that if we export half of what we used to in the past, we will earn as much," Jahangiri said in a speech.
In the first five months the current Iranian year, from March 22-August 22, Iran's income from selling crude and oil products reached Rials 538.8 trillion ($12.89 billion), up 62.4% on the year, IRNA reported quoting central bank data. And this is despite Iran selling lower volumes in the current year than in preceding one.
Iran has sold Rials 422.3 trillion worth of crude oil in the five-month period, up Rials 78.7 trillion on the year.
The value of oil products and gas condensates sold, have, however, fallen by around 36% on the year to Rials 43.2 trillion in the five months, central bank data showed.
Total estimated export volumes on Aframaxes, Suezmaxes and VLCCs from Iranian ports fell 11.5% to 1.7 million b/d in September, according to data from Platts trade flow software cFlow.
While the US wants buyers of Iranian oil to bring their imports to zero by November 4, Jahangiri said that Iran had found ways to work around the looming sanctions.
"The Americans have claimed that they want to bring down Iran's oil exports to zero, but they can't do it because various methods have been found. Private sector and domestic companies have come forward," he said, without elaborating on how the country would continue to sell oil.
"Even though some of Iran's oil buyers stopped purchasing from us in the recent months ..., we could find new partners to sell our oil to," he said, adding that Iran was also in talks with its traditional customers to find ways to continue the trade.
Iran's foreign minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif has said that Europe, which used to take 40% of the country's exports, would come up with an "oil agreement" to work around the sanctions.
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