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.


UN rights forum condemns Israeli use of force at deadly Gaza protests

Updated 31 min 6 sec ago
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UN rights forum condemns Israeli use of force at deadly Gaza protests

  • The UN condemend Israel’s “apparent intentional use of unlawful lethal and other excessive force”
  • UN previously said that Israeli security forces may have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity

GENEVA: The United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday condemned Israel’s “apparent intentional use of unlawful lethal and other excessive force” against civilian protesters in Gaza and called for perpetrators of all violations in the strip to face justice.
The Geneva forum adopted a resolution on accountability, brought by Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), by a vote of 23 states in favor, 8 against with 15 abstentions.
European countries were divided. The United States does not participate, having quit the body last year over perceived anti-Israel bias.
The text was based on a report by a UN inquiry which said that Israeli security forces may have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in killing 189 Palestinians and wounding more than 6,100 at weekly protests last year.