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Iran using ‘unconventional’ means to export oil, says minister

The minister refused to divulge more details on Iran’s oil exports, saying that he would not reveal figures until sanctions were lifted
New Delhi: Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said in an interview published on Saturday that despite sanctions, Tehran is keeping up its oil sales through “unconventional” means. “We have unofficial or unconventional sales, all of which are secret, because if they are made known, America would immediately stop them,” Zanganeh was quoted as saying by the oil ministry's SHANA news agency. The minister refused to divulge more details on Iran’s oil exports, saying that he would not reveal figures until sanctions were lifted.

‘Most severe organised sanctions in history imposed on Iran’

The oil minister said that the US had reached an “evil maturity” in tightening the noose on Iran’s economy via “smart sanctions.” “The most severe organised sanctions in history are currently being imposed on Iran,” Zanganeh said.

The backdrop

Sanctions were reimposed on Iran in November 2018 after the US withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal signed between world powers and Tehran. The deal had placed curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme which the new US administration did not find satisfactory. The US had provided a six-month-long breather to eight nations, including India and China, when it reimposed sanctions. After the sanctions took effect in November last year, Iran’s oil shipments tumbled to 7,50,000 barrels per day in April compared to 1.5 million in October. The waiver granted by the US to eight countries expired in May, after which White House refused to give an extension to any country.