China rejects USA demand to reduce Iran oil imports

Gladys Abbott
August 5, 2018

The move comes as President Donald Trump has directed US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to consider increasing proposed tariffs on US$200 billion in Chinese goods to 25 per cent from 10 per cent.

Iran's state-run IRNA news agency reported the arrival of the five ATR72-600 airplanes, which are twin-engine turboprops used for short-distance regional flights. The deal had a list value of $536 million, though buyers and manufacturers typically negotiate lower prices.

But all Iranians are concerned about the struggling economy, especially since the United States walked out of the nuclear deal in May and announced it would reimpose full sanctions in two stages.

Since President Donald Trump announced in May that the US would be withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and restoring sanctions on the country, Washington officials have attempted to convince foreign governments to stop importing Iranian oil.

Iranian authorities have barely mentioned days of demonstrations in the major cities of Isfahan, Shiraz, Mashhad and Tehran, driven by concerns over the economy as well as wider anger at the political system.

The crude market was also roiled by reports that the USA hasn't been able to persuade the world's second-biggest economy to cut Iranian oil imports.

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Iran is also said to have started to offer India cargo insurance and tankers operated by Iranian companies as some Indian insurers have refused to cover oil cargoes from Iran in the face of the returning USA sanctions on Tehran. The Iranian rial has fallen to 99,000 to the USA dollar despite a government-imposed rate of 44,000. The sanctions targeting Iran's oil industry could cut off a crucial source of hard currency.

Iran is one of India's top suppliers of crude oil.

"The Americans say they want to reduce Iranian oil exports to zero ..."

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has warned the U.S. against any attempt to stop Tehran's oil trade, threatening to block the strategically important Strait of Hormuz.

The exercise could shut down of the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial Gulf passage for shipments of numerous commodities. USA officials last week said Iran carried out a similar exercise, though Tehran did not immediately acknowledge it.

"This exercise was conducted with the aim of controlling and safeguarding the safety of the global waterway and within the framework of the program of the Guards' annual military exercises", Guards spokesman Ramezan Sharif said, according to IRNA. He said the exercise, which he described as an annual drill, was aimed at maintaining the security of the worldwide waterway.

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