Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri vowed on Tuesday that the Islamic Republic will “sell as much oil as we can” to protect its banking system, the financial lifeblood of the regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), while acknowledging that America-imposed sanctions would hurt Iran’s economy.
“America seeks to reduce Iran’s oil sales, our vital source of income, to zero,” Jahangiri said, according to the state-run Fars News Agency. He added, “We will make Americans understand this year that they cannot stop Iranian oil sales.”
U.S. ambassador to Berlin Richard Grenell on Monday told the Washington Free Beacon, “We are encouraging the German government at the highest levels to intervene to stop this transfer of cash.” Reuters reported the next day that “the U.S. ambassador to Berlin called on the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel to block an Iranian attempt to withdraw large sums of cash from bank accounts in Germany.”
President Donald Trump threatened to sanction countries that fail to stop importing Iranian oil by November 4.
Last week, Iran’s representative to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, reportedly pled for President Donald Trump to “please stop” tweeting about the situation because his doing so allegedly raised oil prices by at least $10.
“With your frequent and indecent tweets oil prices have gone up 10 dollars,” Ardebili reportedly said. “Your tweets have driven the prices up by at least $10 per barrel. Pls stop it, otherwise it will go even higher!”
China, India, and Turkey rely heavily on Iranian oil imports. Despite warning from the Trump administration that there would be “no exemptions” for any country dealing with and importing oil from Iran, the Guardian insisted last week that the United States will likely grant China, India, and Turkey temporary exceptions to continue importing Iranian crude.
During joint meetings in Vienna last week, foreign ministers from Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia – the five remaining signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or Iran nuclear deal — offered an economic package to Iran to keep the deal intact. Iran rejected the proposal, saying the package did not go far enough for them.
“We think the Europeans will act in a way to meet the Iranian demands, but we should wait and see,” Jahangiri reportedly said.
A series of anti-government protests have erupted across Iran recently over economic woes, worsened by the Iranian government’s decision to spend billions of dollars in foreign nations like Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, and other countries.
Renewed protests in southern Iran over the weekend responding to shortages of water, and the “chaotic” distribution of the little available, pushed Iran to defend its decision to invest in proxy wars over supporting its population.
Protesters chanted, “Our enemy is right here, it is not America as they [the Islamic Republic’s authorities] falsely say.”