Iran 'to increase oil exports if US sanctions eased'

Iran to increase oil exports if US sanctions eased: state media
2 min read
07 December, 2020
With Tehran expecting the Biden administration to ease sanctions, Iranian state media announced that that the government is preparing to boost oil exports.
Iran is reportedly planning to boost oil exports if a nuclear deal is reached [Getty]
Iran's oil ministry was instructed to prepare to operate its production and sales at full capacity, the country's state-run IRNA reported, anticipating the potential easing of sanctions after US President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

The Sunday report quoted President Hassan Rouhani expressing the country's readiness to "rapidly boost the volume" of its oil exports.

"The Oil Ministry will take all the necessary steps to prepare the oil industry’s facilities to produce and sell - proportionate to the available capacity - within the next three months," Rouhani said, according to IRNA.

Before incumbent President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018, Rouhani said Iran exported over two million barrels a day. 

Exports of oil petrochemicals took a hit from US "economic war", Rouhani said, referring to Washington's sanctions on Iran under President Donald Trump.

Rouhani's comments came a week after the Iranian government announced its draft state budget, promising less reliance on oil revenues.

Biden - set to take office on 20 January - has hinted at a return to the nuclear agreement, but said it's "going to be hard".

Read also: Iran's Rouhani says Biden win a chance for US to 'compensate for mistakes'

During his term, Trump has applied a policy of "maximum pressure" on Iran with crippling sanctions. 

In the run-up to leaving office, the Trump administration has introduced new sanctions, which was perceived by analysts as a strategy to make it more difficult for Biden to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

Last month, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that his country would immediately return to its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action if Biden removes crippling sanctions imposed by Trump.

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