Iran will sell its oil and break sanctions reimposed by the United States on its vital energy and banking sectors, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told economists at a meeting broadcast live on state television on Monday.
“America wanted to cut to zero Iran’s oil sales … but we will continue to sell our oil … to break sanctions,” Rouhani said.
In May, U.S. President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of world powers’ 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimposed a first round of sanctions on Iran in August.
The deal saw most international financial and economic sanctions on Iran lifted in return for Tehran curbing its disputed nuclear activity under U.N. surveillance.
The latest round of sanctions affecting 300 new designations including Iran’s oil, shipping, insurance and banking sectors, may be a fiasco as Washington has allowed eight countries to continue importing crude from Iran.
“The impact of the sanctions is going to be largely softened as a result of this allowance,” said Sukrit Vijayakar, director of Indian energy consultancy Trifecta.
Washington has so far not named the eight, referred to as “jurisdictions”, a term that might include Taiwan which the United States does not regard as a country.
China, India, South Korea, Turkey, Italy, the United Arab Emirates and Japan have been the top importers of Iran’s oil, while Taiwan occasionally buys Iranian crude.
South Korea said on Monday it has been granted a waiver to at least temporarily continue to import condensate, a super-light form of crude oil, from Iran and also still continue financial transactions with the Middle East country.
Japan said on Monday it was in close communication with the United States. While Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga declined to detail any potential sanction waivers, he said his government had asked Washington that sanctions should not have an adverse impact on Japanese companies.
And China said on Monday its lawful trade cooperation with Iran should be respected and expressed regret that the United States re-imposed sanctions on the Middle Eastern country.
At a daily news briefing in Beijing, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying did not directly comment on whether China had been granted exemption from the Iran sanctions by the United States.