We will keep Gulf open despite Iran threat

Rouhani said Friday that talks with international powers on Tehran's nuclear program must move forward more quickly saying limited progres

Show Him the Money Iran’s Rouhani Expects Europe to Fund Bailout Defeat U.S. Sanctions JEWEL SAMAD AFP Getty 2 Jul 2018

He did not elaborate, but an Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander explicitly said on Wednesday Iran would block any exports of crude for the Gulf in retaliation for hostile U.S. action.

The other parties to the agreement say they remain committed to the deal so long as Iran is honoring it.

The United States pulled out of a multinational deal in May to lift sanctions against Iran in return for curbs to its nuclear program.

It also highlighted that the oil ministry's order to refiners "to prepare for drastic reduction or zero import of Iranian oil from November" was passed a day after USA ambassador to UN Nikki Haley visited India.

Rouhani's European trip will be of "prime importance" as it could "provide a more precise picture of cooperation between Iran and Europe", the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said at the weekend.

On July 6, the foreign ministers of Iran and the five world powers still party to the nuclear deal - Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany - will meet in the Austrian capital to discuss ways to preserve it in the wake of the US withdrawal.

Iran's prominent English daily, Tehran Times, in an opinion piece has slammed India for buckling under United States pressure to curb oil imports from Iran. They have expressed strong disappointment at the US withdrawal.

The top diplomats of Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation will join Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in the Austrian capital, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported, for their first talks together on the deal since Washington pulled out earlier this year.

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He noted the first part of USA sanctions will take effect in early August.

On Tuesday, State Department officials said that the administration is taking a much tougher line on Iranian oil exports than the Obama administration did when it put sanctions on Tehran's main source of revenue.

The administration's tough new stance on Iranian exports, which goes far beyond what the Obama administration demanded and what most market experts were expecting, suggests that Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia have agreed to make up whatever Iranian production is taken out of the market, Vakhshouri said. "We can not pre-judge what the U.S. will be doing", said a source. He added that the new USA policy is not about changing the Iranian government.

Since Trump's announcement of the US withdrawal in May, his administration has sought to reimpose sanctions on Iran and has encouraged other countries to do the same.

The EU's foreign service, the EEAS, was not immediately available for comment on the meeting.

Iran, the third-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, exports about 2 million barrels of crude oil per day.

Foreign ministers from the remaining signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal - Iran, France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China - meet in Vienna on Friday to discuss salvaging the accord. Saudi Arabia is planning to push up oil production to record levels of about 11 million barrels per day starting in July, Reuters reported Tuesday.

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