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Iran vows to sell as much oil as possible, despite US sanctions

President Donald Trump speaks to the press while walking to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House Dec. 15, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

A top Iranian official has vowed that Tehran will sell as much oil as possible, even as he acknowledged that new looming U.S. sanctions will hurt Iran’s economy.

Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri also said on July 10 that Washington was trying to stop Iran’s petrochemical and steel industries, its copper exports, and disrupt its ports.

“We will make Americans understand this year that they cannot stop Iranian oil sales,” he was quoted as saying by the Fars news agency.

Oil exports are a major source of hard currency for Iran, which is a member of the OPEC oil cartel.

In May, U.S. President Donald Trump announced he was pulling the United States out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and would reimpose sanctions.

U.S. officials later told countries they must stop buying Iranian oil beginning in November or face financial consequences.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, meanwhile, said that Washington will consider requests from some countries to be exempted from the new sanctions.

“There will be a handful of countries that come to the United States and ask for relief from that. We’ll consider it,” Pompeo told Sky News Arabia, according to a State Department transcript released on July 10.

Pompeo did not name any countries.

European powers still support the 2015 nuclear deal, under which Tehran agreed to limit its nuclear development in exchange for international sanctions relief.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Fars