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Price Drop: Iran Pulls Out Stops to Sell Oil to Counter US Sanctions - Minister

© AP Photo / Vahid Salemi~ / natural gas refineries at the South Pars gas field on the northern coast of the Persian Gulf, in Asaluyeh, Iran, March 16, 2019
natural gas refineries at the South Pars gas field on the northern coast of the Persian Gulf, in Asaluyeh, Iran, March 16, 2019 - Sputnik International
Iran will use every resource at its disposal to sell oil in so-called global grey markets, according to a deputy minister.

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Tehran will bring to bear all available resources to sell its oil on global grey markets as a means of bypassing what the nation describes as illegitimate and unlawful sanctions by the US, according to a Sunday statement by Deputy Oil Minister Amir Hossein Zamaninia, cited by state media.

Following its 2018 withdrawal from the 2015 Joint Cooperative Plan of Action (JCPOA) Iran nuclear deal with other global powers, the administration of US President Donald Trump has told oil buyers around the world to cease doing business with Tehran by May 1 or face sanctions of their own.

Tehran, however, announced that it would continue to sell its oil output, regardless of US sanctions. Previous statements from the Trump administration asserted that Washington was attempting to slow Iran's growing regional influence while stopping its program of developing ballistic missile technology, according to Reuters.

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"We have mobilized all of the country's resources and are selling oil in the ‘gray market'", noted Tehran's Zamaninia, cited by state news agency IRNA.

The Iranian deputy oil minister offered no details regarding recent gray market sales of the nation's exports. Over the past ten years, Tehran is reported to have sold its oil at prices far below global benchmarks using little-known private companies to facilitate quietly executed deals, according to Reuters.

"We certainly won't sell 2.5 million barrels per day as under the [2015 JCPOA]," Zamaninia noted. The deputy oil minister declined to provide recent oil sales figures for Iran but noted that Tehran would aggressively market its primary export, despite US sanctions.

"We will need to make serious decisions about our financial and economic management, and the government is working on that," Zamaninia said, cited by Reuters.

"This is not smuggling," he said, adding, "This is countering sanctions which we do not see as just or legitimate."

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