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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Switching Its Oil Sales to 'Grey Market' in Bid to Defy US Sanctions

Sputnik News

14:50 05.05.2019

The US earlier terminated waivers for several Iranian oil-buying countries, once again threatening them with sanctions if they continue doing business with Tehran. The Islamic Republic has slammed these actions, vowing to continue oil exports despite Washington's efforts.

Iran has started directing its efforts at organising the sale of its oil via alternative routes to circumvent the effectiveness of US sanctions against the country's energy sector, Deputy Oil Minister Amir Hossein Zamaninia told IRNA news agency without specifying any details.

"We have mobilised all of the country's resources and are selling oil in the 'grey market'", he said.

At the same time, the deputy minister admitted that the volumes from daily sales won't be able to reach the export levels seen prior to the US exit from the Iran nuclear deal, which lifted international sanctions from Tehran. Zamaninia didn't provide any estimates about the volumes of oil sales on the "grey market", but noted that the government will have to "make serious decisions about [Iran's] financial and economic management".

Speaking about the "grey market" scheme of selling Iranian oil the deputy minister stressed that it in no way can be viewed as "smuggling" as it's merely a measure to counter sanctions that are neither "just" nor "legitimate".

The US earlier ended waivers given to several states, importing Iranian crude. The waivers prevented these countries from falling under American sanctions as long as they abided by the allowed daily import limits. The decision to end these waivers has caused "regret and concern" in the EU, Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said.

The waivers were given to Greece, Italy, Taiwan, China, India, Turkey, Japan, and South Korea on the same day the US imposed harsh sanctions against Iran's energy, banking and shipping sectors, 5 November 2018. The imposition of the sanctions was preceded by Washington's unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal on 8 May 2018.

Washington's move was met with criticism from other signatories to the deal, who decided to continue adhering to its provisions and to ignore the White House's sanctions.


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