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GENEVA: Iran said on Tuesday it had so far been able to sell as much oil as it needs despite US pressure, but urged European countries that oppose the US sanctions to do more to shield Iran.

The United States on Monday restored sanctions targeting Irans oil, banking and transport sectors and threatened more action to stop what Washington called its “outlaw” policies — steps that Tehran called economic warfare and vowed to defy.

The measures are part of a wider effort by US President Donald Trump to curb Tehrans missile and nuclear programmes and diminish the Islamic Republics influence in the Middle East, notably its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.

Trump is targeting Irans main source of revenue — its oil exports — as well as its financial sector, essentially making 50 Iranian banks and their subsidiaries off-limits to foreign banks, on pain of losing access to the US financial system.

“The Americans constantly said they would reduce the sale of Irans oil to zero but I have to say that, so far, we have been able to sell our required amounts of oil,” Tasnim news agency quoted Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri as saying.

“The Americans, with the help of propaganda, don’t see the realities.” Jahangiri said he had spoken to a handful of managers from companies on the US sanctions list, and that some had already formulated plans on how to deal with the measures.

However, Iran’s oil minister wrote to Opec’s secretary general calling for two committees that monitor an output deal with non-Opec countries to be scrapped, accusing them of siding with the United States.

The head of Iran’s central bank, Abdolnasser Hemmati, said Iranian banks should use their previous experience dealing with sanctions to support the foreign trade process and financial transfers”, according to the state news agency, IRNA.

Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2018

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