Iran calls US efforts to cut its oil exports to zero ‘political bluff’

US previously said they aim to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero. (AFP)
Updated 17 October 2018
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Iran calls US efforts to cut its oil exports to zero ‘political bluff’

  • US administration has been pushing its allies to cut Iranian oil imports
  • US sanctions on Iranian oil exports are due to kick in on Nov. 4

GENEVA: Statements by the United States that it would reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero are a “political bluff,” the head of state-run National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) said, according to a report published by Tasnim news agency on Wednesday.
US officials have said they aim to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero to force its leaders to change their behavior in the region. US sanctions on Iran’s oil exports are scheduled to kick in on Nov. 4.
NIOC head Ali Kardor said US President Donald Trump had been trying to reduce Iran’s oil exports for months.
“The president of America has done whatever he can and he knows very well that getting Iran’s oil exports to zero was a political bluff,” Kardor said.
The US administration has been pushing its allies to cut Iranian oil imports and encouraging Saudi Arabia, other OPEC states and Russia to pump more oil to meet any shortfall.
Kardor said Iran did not have any difficulties receiving payments for oil exports and said the Islamic Republic could accept payments in euros instead of dollars if necessary.
“There is no problem on this issue,” Kardor said, Iran’s ISNA news agency reported. “With European support there will not be a problem.”
European powers have been trying to salvage a nuclear accord with Iran after the United States withdrew in May.
The European Union said last month it was considering setting up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to facilitate trade with Iran and said it could be in place before November.
European diplomats have said the SPV would create a barter system, similar to one used by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, to exchange Iranian oil for European goods without money changing hands.
Kardor said Iran was scheduled to sign a new oil contract with a foreign company within two weeks, ISNA reported. He did not provide any additional information.


Houthis target refugee camp in Hodeidah: Yemen minister

Updated 45 min 20 sec ago
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Houthis target refugee camp in Hodeidah: Yemen minister

  • The Houthi militia attacked a refugee camp in Hodeidah, injuring five with a grenade
  • The camp is funded by King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center for Internally Displaced Persons

The Houthi militia attacked a refugee camp in Hodeidah, injuring five with a grenade, a Yemen minister said on Tuesday.

Minister of Local Administration and head of the Higher Relief Committee, Abdul Raqeeb Fattah, condemned the targeting of Beni Jaber Refugee Camp in Al-Khokha district.

The camp is funded by King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP).

According to the UNHCR, 2 million people in Yemen have been displaced since the start of the conflict three years ago.

The attack is the second in three months, the Yemeni minister said, calling on the international community to condemn the targeting of civilians.  

The minister called on the UN humanitarian coordinator Lisa Grande to submit a comprehensive report to the United Nations and the Security Council to clarify the crimes committed by the Houthis against civilians and displaced persons in Hodeidah and a number of Yemeni provinces.