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United States will 'absolutely' sanction European companies that do business with Iran

03 July 2018, 11:40 | Austin Hogan

United States will 'absolutely' sanction European companies that do business with Iran

Iranian Vice President Jahangiri speaks during a news conference after a meeting with Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric in Najaf

Oil prices fell on Monday as supplies from Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation rose while economic growth stumbled in Asia amid an escalating trade dispute with the United States.

One of Iran's biggest oil buyers said it has enough alternative sources of crude to replace any supplies cut off by U.S. sanctions on the Persian Gulf state - even if shipments stop completely.

On Saturday, President Trump touted an agreement with Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz to vastly increase oil production in an effort to lower prices.

Oil prices have been rising despite OPEC and Russian Federation agreeing to increase production by 1 million barrels per day from the start of this month.

Tehran and Riyadh are members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, a cartel that manages supply to the global market via production quotas so as to keep prices in member states' favour.

The US "down to zero" plan rests heavily on banning India and China from buying from the Iranians, and while Indian companies have suggested they will dial it back, China remains in the nuclear deal and nearly certainly won't give in to US demands.

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In the first weeks after the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the re-imposition of sanctions on Tehran, India said that it would continue to import Iranian crude despite USA sanctions, because India only honors sanctions imposed by the United Nations, but not ones introduced by individual countries.

Saudi Arabia's output is also on the rise and over the past few months, production has grown by 700,000 barrels per day, according to Reuters.

Referring to reports that Saudi Arabia may increase its oil exports to replace Iranian oil in world markets, Jahangiri said: "Anyone trying to take away Iran's oil market (share) would be committing great treachery against Iran and will one day pay for it".

Trump warned at the time that other nations would face sanctions unless they stopped trading with Iran.

"It must be kept in mind that U.S. shale production has surged to record levels, while demand remains at risk of falling amid global trade tensions". "I would assume that infrastructure investment is quite energy intensive, so perhaps that had a knock-on effect to oil demand", said Frederic Neumann, Co-Head of Asian Economic Research at HSBC in Hong Kong". All comments are subject to editorial review.



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