Iran has said it will fight back against USA efforts to squeeze Iranian oil exports, accusing countries that fill the gap in oil markets of "a big treachery to the Iranian nation and the world community", according to Iran's First Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri.
WASHINGTON-The Trump administration will consider requests for waivers from economic sanctions against Iran on a "case-by-case" basis, a senior State Department official said Monday, a step back from threats to insist on zero imports by a November 4 deadline.
Iran says it will find ways to export its oil, despite what he does.
The premium for USA crude for the front month compared with the second month CLc1-CLc2 widened to as much as $2.21 a barrel, the most since August 20, 2014.
Oil prices rose on Friday on worries that U.S. sanctions against Iran would take away significant volumes of crude oil from world markets while oil demand worldwide increases.
His remarks came in the light of his controversial decision earlier this year to pull America out of the Iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions - a move strongly opposed by Europe.
"We will not hesitate to take action when we see sanctionable activity", said Brian Hook, the department's Policy Planning Director and the former lead negotiator for the USA who met with European allies for months to reach a side agreement that kept the U.S.in the Iran nuclear deal but addressed Trump's concerns with it.
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However, "sanctions alone won't cut it - we'll need to use all of our policy levers, and the help of our allies", he said.
"Just spoke to King Salman of Saudi Arabia and explained to him that, because of the turmoil & dysfunction in Iran and Venezuela, I am asking that Saudi Arabia increase oil production, maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels, to make up the difference", Trump wrote on Twitter. That's what we're doing. The White House has said the USA will put those sanctions back into place.
Jahangiri said: "They're begging the Saudis to raise their output so that if Iran's quota decreases nothing will happen to the markets".
Iran and Saudi Arabia broke off diplomatic relations in 2016 and are locked in several proxy wars in the Middle East, including in Yemen.
"Our focus is on getting as many countries importing Iranian crude down to zero as soon as possible", Hook said - a slight step back from what a senior State Department official who briefed reporters last week said, that all allies must be at zero imports by November 4.
Despite the relief from Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation, oil markets remain tense because of unplanned outages from Canada to Venezuela and Libya.