SHAFAQNA – Iranian president in Switzerland and Austria discussed boosting Tehran’s ties with Europe which has been scrambling to save the 2015 nuclear deal. Hassan Rouhani said that the Iranian nation has never bowed and will never bow to U.S. pressures and warned US pressure to blocking iran’s oil export may impact regional exports.
According to Rueters, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appeared on Tuesday to threaten to disrupt oil shipments from neighbouring countries if Washington presses ahead with its goal of forcing all countries to stop buying Iranian oil.
“The Americans have claimed they want to completely stop Iran’s oil exports. They don’t understand the meaning of this statement, because it has no meaning for Iranian oil not to be exported, while the region’s oil is exported,” the official Iran presidential website quoted him as saying.
When asked at a news conference in Bern later on Tuesday whether those comments constituted a threat to interfere with the shipping of neighbouring countries, Rouhani said: “Assuming that Iran could become the only oil producer unable to export its oil is a wrong assumption … The United States will never be able to cut Iran’s oil revenues”.
President Hassan Rouhani said regional oil exports may be threatened if the United States tries to pressure its allies to stop buying Iranian crude oil.
“It is incorrect and unwise to imagine that some day all producer countries will be able to export their surplus oil and Iran will not be able to export its oil,” he said.
“If you (Americans) can, do this and see its result,” Rouhani was quoted as saying to a gathering of Iranians living in Switzerland.
According to Tribune, Iranian officials in the past have threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route, in retaliation for any hostile US action against Iran.
Iran, the third-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, exports about 2 million barrels of crude oil per day.
The White House said on Saturday that Saudi Arabia’s King Salman had promised Trump that he can raise oil production if needed, and that Riyadh has 2 million barrels per day of spare capacity.
The United States pulled out of a multinational deal in May to lift sanctions against Iran in return for curbs to its nuclear programme. Washington has since told countries they must halt all imports of Iranian oil from Nov. 4 or face U.S. financial measures.
According to Xinhua, last week, the U.S. State Department announced that the United States has been pushing its allies to stop oil imports from Iran by Nov. 4.
Iran’s Petroleum Ministry has said that is prepared for the worst-case scenarios in case the U.S. pressures take effect.
The Iranian president is in Europe to gather support ahead of a meeting later this week between Iran and the five global powers that are still party to the 2015 nuclear deal.
“Iran will remain committed to the deal, as long as its interests are preserved,” Rouhani said. Tehran said its foreign minister would meet counterparts from U.S. allies Britain, France and Germany, as well as Russia and China, in Vienna on Friday to discuss ways of maintaining the nuclear deal.
The five other powers have all said they still support the deal despite the U.S. decision to withdraw. Iran has asked the European countries to come up with a new economic package to offset the U.S. sanctions and preserve the accord.
At the meeting, which will be held at the request of Iran, foreign ministers of Iran and five world powers will discuss a proposed European package and measures to protect the agreement,” IRNA reported on Tuesday.
The signatories to the deal, minus the United States, have been working on a ministerial meeting in Vienna for weeks and the date has slipped several times since preparations began.
“For now, that’s the plan,” an EU source said, “the Iranians expect the others to say what we are going to do to keep the deal alive.”
A key subject on the agenda, however, is a package which the Europeans are expected to offer to Iran in order to keep the country in the JCPOA, Press TV reported.