Published: Tue, May 07, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Iran Says Using All Resources to Sell Oil in 'Grey Market'

Iran Says Using All Resources to Sell Oil in 'Grey Market'

It is nearly a year since President Donald Trump reimposed crippling United States sanctions after exiting a landmark nuclear agreement between major powers and Iran.

On Friday, the US State Department said that the waivers allowing the storage of Iran's heavy water that was produced in excess of current limits would be revoked and that any involvement in the transfer of Iranian uranium would be subject to US sanctions.

On May 8, 2018, US President Donald Trump announced Washington's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal as it, in his words, leaves Iran a possibility to create a nuclear bomb bypassing all the restrictions.

The JCPOA is an agreement, endorsed by the United Nations Security Council, on the Iranian nuclear program reached in 2015 between Iran, China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States, Germany and the European Union.

The United States' allies in Europe have criticised its recent decisions to restrict oil trade with Iran and to limit the extension of waivers for nuclear non-proliferation projects.

In pulling out of the JCPOA, Trump said the terms were not tough enough to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and he accused Tehran of violating the "spirit" of the accord by financing Islamic militants in the region.

While it is still possible to receive reduced waivers (90 days instead of 180 days), the European trio also slammed that development.

Iran has said it will continue uranium enrichment and heavy water production despite USA pressure on the Islamic republic to end it. "That is the way the United States has acted for 40 years and, particularly since President Trump came to office, it violated a commitment by another USA president, President Obama", Aljazeera quoted Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's minister of foreign affairs, as saying. Therefore we will carry on with enrichment activity.

"Under the (nuclear accord) Iran can produce heavy water, and this is not in violation of the agreement".

The relevant statement is published on the State Department website.

The trio said they remain "committed to working on the preservation and maintenance of financial channels and exports for Iran". "So we have to increase our hard currency income and cut our currency expenditures", Mr Rouhani said.

Zamaninia gave no details about the "grey market", but Iran is widely reported to have sold oil at steep discounts and often through private firms during sanctions earlier this decade.

The United States earlier in the week decided not to extend waivers granted to eight countries that allowed them to continue to do business with Iran's crucial oil-export industry.

It was the third punitive action taken against Iran in as many weeks.

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