Wednesday, 20 June, 2018

Did Trump Just Kill The OPEC Deal?

21 2018 shows a logo at the Airbus A380 assembly site in Blagnac southern France 21 2018 shows a logo at the Airbus A380 assembly site in Blagnac southern France
Nellie Chapman | 15 May, 2018, 02:12

France pledged on Friday to push back against the threat of U.S. sanctions against French companies doing business with Iran, in the wake of Washington's withdrawal from the worldwide nuclear agreement with Tehran.

"If the remaining five countries continue to abide by the agreement, Iran will remain in the deal despite the will of America", Rouhani said in remarks carried by state television. "We will be instituting at the highest level of economic sanction; any country that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons could also be strongly sanctioned by the United States", Trump said on Tuesday.

Bolton, whom President Donald Trump tapped in March to replace former national security adviser H.R. McMaster, emphasized in the CNN interview that it was his job to advise Trump but that the president is the one who makes the decisions.

Officials are also preparing to move ahead with plans to get Iran fuller access to the EU's lending arm, the European Investment Bank, and to bolster European credit lines for firms with little US exposure wanting to invest in Iran.

In the wake of new US sanctions, some buyers of OPEC's third-largest oil producer said on Wednesday they would seek USA exemptions to purchase Iranian crude.

"Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps pours resources into exporting destabilizing influence throughout the Middle East, even as the Iranian people are victims of a struggling economy", White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement referring to a back-and-forth of recent strikes.

United States investment bank Jefferies said in a note on Friday that it expects Iranian crude oil exports to start falling in the next few months.

After sanctions were eased as part of the nuclear agreement, Iran ramped up production to about 3.8 million barrels a day.

Trump said he wants to impose new conditions on Iran, to address its ballistic missile program, its support for terrorism, the expiration dates and inspection provisions in the agreement. The money given to Iran during the nuke deal was Iran's money. "But as it is now, at least for the time being, we're the country that's isolated".

It comes just days after Israel revealed "secret nuclear files" accusing Iran of having covertly pursued nuclear weapons.

They expect West Texas Intermediate, the most commonly cited USA contract, to trade $6 below the price of Brent in 2019.

"We hope that with this visit to China and other countries we will be able to construct a clear future design for the comprehensive agreement", Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters after talks in Beijing with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. "Plus we see a high likelihood of OPEC working with Russian Federation in 2019 to set a floor on oil prices", they said.

The pact's signing had been planned for long time, but the move coincides with the USA move to re-impose sanctions against Iran that have rattled US allies.

The third source pointed out that it was too soon to tell if extra oil was needed and that Iran had kept much of its exports flowing under a previous round of sanctions.