Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has dismissed as false reports claiming that the country’s oil export decreased in June due to reinforcement of sanctions imposed by the United States.
“This report is an absolute lie,” Zanganeh told Fars news agency on Monday while reacting to unverified data published online allegedly showing that Iran’s sale of oil had decreased significantly in June to few hundred thousand barrels per day (bpd).
The Reuters news agency cited industry sources and tanker data as saying on Monday that Iran’s crude exports in June dropped to 300,000 bpd, down from an estimated amount of 400,000-500,000 bpd in May.
The report cited a US decision to end waivers for main importers of Iran oil as a main reason for the decrease in the country’s oil sale.
Zanganeh declined to give any detail about the actual figure of Iran’s current oil export, saying that would not be to Iran’s benefit.
“I don’t give any figure. That would be to our harm,” said the minister, without elaborating.
Iran has denied US claims that sanctions imposed over the country’s nuclear program have had a crippling impact on its ability to ship oil to traditional customers like China and India.
However, Tehran has warned that it would react militarily if its exports are cut to zero as sought by US President Donald Trump.
The sanctions were imposed in November months after Trump unilaterally pulled out of a major international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.
Zanganeh admitted last week that Iran was having difficulties exporting its oil, saying the current situation was unprecedented in history, even compared to an eight-year period in the 1980s when Iran was involved in a war with neighboring Iraq.
“We had no problem in oil export during the war … and we used to receive the oil money. But this process is now completed with difficulty,” said the minister.