Iran not Committed to Observe Oil Export Ceiling, Deputy Oil Minister

Iranian deputy oil minister says Iran does not see itself committed to the oil export cap imposed by the P5+1 group.

While the International Energy Agency reported decline in Iran’s oil export, Ali Majedi, Iran’s deputy oil minister for international affairs and trade said Iran will give up efforts to boost oil exports.

Global imports of Iranian crude in April averaged 1.11 million barrels per day (bpd), the Paris-based IEA said in its monthly Oil Market Report released on Thursday, down 180,000 bpd from March.

US says under an interim deal signed in November between Iran and the P5+1, Iranian Iran should hold its oil exports to an average of 1 million bpd, but otherwise Iranian oil Minister says the Geneva deal does not ban Iran from increasing oil production and the country “will use every possibility to increase the amount of oil exports.”

“[We] will not wait wait for America’s permission,” Bijan Zanganeh said on April 7, 2014, according to the oil ministry news service SHANA.

While in Vienna, delegations from Iran and the P5+1 are trying to draft a final nuclear deal, the Iranian deputy oil minister reiterated that the country will accept a limitation on its oil export.

“We should not give up our efforts [to sell more oil]. (…) the P5+1 imposed an oil export cap but we are committed to our interests,” Majedi said on Friday in an interview with Iranian news site Parsnews.

“They may ask other countries to not buy Iranian oil but they cannot threaten us to [limit] our oil export. If any foreign country wanted to buy more oil, we definitely welcome the request,” he said.

China and India, two main customers of Iranian oil have said they see no reason to conform to arbitrary sanctions applied unilaterally by the US.

The United States also had to grant exemptions from sanctions to 10 European countries and Japan last year as the oil market needed high quality Iranian oil.

Iran has the world’s fourth largest oil reserves and is second only to Russia in reserves of natural gas.

Oil exports believe a prolonged oil embargo against Iran will put the United States and Europe in a worse financial position than they were before the sanctions, mostly because of a spike in oil prices and lack of adequate sources of backup oil supply.

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