Iran’s central bank governor says the country’s oil exports are rising despite US sanctions which, he said, are no more effective.
The United States is aiming to cut Iran’s sales to zero after ending sanctions waivers to importers of Iranian oil in May, but Abdolnaser Hemmati on Wednesday brushed aside the effort.
“The Islamic Republic has surpassed the summit of resistance and despite the US claim about zeroing out oil sales, the trend of oil exports is increasing,” Hemmati told reporters in Tehran after a cabinet session.
Hemmati also dismissed the new largely symbolic sanctions imposed by the US Monday, targeting Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and other top officials.
“The Americans have done whatever they could with the sanctions, but the embargoes have no more use,” he said.
Other than the oil industry, Iran’s petrochemicals, banking, shipping and precious metals are the target of the unilateral US sanctions which have led to a slump in the value of the rial and disrupted the foreign exchange market.
Hemmati said the forex market is leveling out. “The situation of the foreign exchange market is an important sign that people do not attach any importance to the sanctions; today there is no turbulence in the foreign exchange market.”
“The people have found out that the enemies have done whatever they could and the sanctions are no longer effective,” he added.
Last year, President Donald Trump withdrew the US from a nuclear agreement with Iran and announced the most hard-hitting sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Britain, France, Germany and the European Union are signatories to the 2015 deal and Tehran wants the Europeans to shield Iran from the Trump administration’s sanctions through a trade mechanism.
Earlier this month, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said during a visit to Tehran that Instex, a European payment system for trade designed to circumvent US sanctions, is expected to be ready soon.
Hemmati said while the Europeans are constantly speaking of an imminent operation of Instex, “we have emphasized that this mechanism should be capable of transferring financial resources.”
The governor said Iran’s exports to Europe are currently zero; hence the country cannot import anything from the continent.
“One solution is that they [Europeans] buy oil from us but they have told us they have a problem in this regard.
“The second option is that the Europeans provide a credit line so that we can buy goods from them. If any of these tasks is carried out, launching Instex will not take even a week,” Hemmati said.