Tehran (Basirat) :Iran's Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh dismisses the rhetoric by the Saudi crown prince about Riyadh's capability to replace sanctions-hit Iranian oil, saying that the global market will never believe such claims.
"It seems that such remarks [by Saudi crown prince] have been made under [US
President Donald] Trump's pressure," Zangeneh said on Monday.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Bloomberg in an interview on Friday
that his country had met its promise to the United States to make up for Iranian
oil supplies lost through US sanctions re-imposed after Washington's withdrawal
from a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and the P5+1 group of countries.
"Actually the request that America made to Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries
is to be sure that if there is any loss of supply from Iran, that we will supply
that. And that happened. Because recently, Iran reduced their exports by 700,000
barrels a day, if I’m not mistaken. And Saudi Arabia and OPEC and non-OPEC
countries, they’ve produced 1.5 million barrels a day. So we export as much as 2
barrels for any barrel that disappeared from Iran recently," he said.
Under pressure from the US to lower oil prices, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman claims that the kingdom has already made up for Iranian crude supplies
lost to American sanctions.
In reaction to bin Salman's claims, the Iranian minister of petroleum said
"neither Saudi Arabia nor any other [oil] producer" have such a production
"The market and the increase of prices are the best evidence that the market
faces a shortage and it is worried about a severe shortage of oil supply,"
"What Saudi Arabia had been supplying the market with, were not from [its] spare
capacity but from tapping its oil stocks," he pointed out.
Trump announced in May that Washington was pulling out of the nuclear agreement,
officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which lifted
nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran in exchange for restrictions on
Tehran's nuclear program. The deal had been signed between Iran and the five
permanent members of the UN Security Council -- the United States, Britain,
France, Russia and China -- plus Germany in 2015.
A first round of American sanctions took effect in August, targeting Iran's
access to the US dollar, metals trading, coal, industrial software, and auto
sector. A second round, forthcoming on November 4, will be targeting Iran’s oil
sales and its Central Bank.
The Trump administration is pushing on all buyers of Iranian oil to cut imports
to zero. But Iran, OPEC’s third-largest producer, has repeatedly announced that
its oil exports cannot be reduced to zero because of high demand levels in the
Iran has blamed Trump for oil price hikes, but the US president has pointed the
finger at OPEC and called on the oil-producing body to boost output.