In response to the massive sanctions which the Trump Administration imposed on European companies operating in his country, Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri confirmed that Iran plans to keep selling “as much oil as [they] can.”
Jahangiri acknowledged that Trump’s sanctions will definitely hurt Iran’s economy, but he affirmed that the government will try to protect its banking system.
Jahangiri argued that the U.S. is attempting to stop Iran’s various exports, such as steel and copper, by detaining the shipping of these products. He called oil Iran’s “vital source of income”, and stated that Trump’s White House is trying to halt that income completely.
The sanctions were announced in May, directly after President Trump decided to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal. Said measures posed threats to companies still operating in Iran, as the sanctions state that they must leave the country by early November or face financial consequences. Most companies are struggling with these announcements, as they came without any previous warning. The sanctions could mean a loss of several billions of dollars for many companies.
However, the Iranian oil industry has stated that their June sales were not substantially low, as around 2.2 million barrels of crude oil were sold per day.
According to Reuters, Jahangiri stated that the White House planned to unleash an “economic war” between the countries, and that Iran will prove that it can still maintain profitable oil sales despite the sanctions. Iran is currently working on facilitating banking operations to soften the blow to its economy.
Many companies originally attempted to extend loans taken out from Iranian banks to garner more funding. However, Iranian banks stated that they could not afford to face the U.S.’ multi-billion dollar fines.
Iran also reached out to German banks in order to withdraw large amounts of cash. However, the U.S. was quick to contact Chancellor Angela Merkel, demanding that she block these actions.
The five European countries still involved in the Iran deal remain committed to attempting to stop other companies from leaving Iran. They have attempted to aid economically, but the nation has stated that these efforts were not sufficient to avoid the coming economic impact of the U.S.’ sanctions.
Many European companies have sent letters to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, asking to exempt their companies from the tariffs. However, Trump has confirmed that the sanctions will continue to go through in an interview with Fox News.
Mike Pompeo did not hesitate to stress the harsh nature of the sanctions. During a press conference, Pompeo stated:
This sting of sanctions will be painful if the regime does not change its course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen to one that rejoins the league of nations. These will indeed end up being the strongest sanctions in history when we are complete”.
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