Iran's oil export unlikely to reach zero: Ali Vaez

TEHRAN, May 07 (MNA) – Ali Vaez, director of the Iran program for International Crisis Group says that US is clearly trying to push Iran to walk away from the nuclear deal and that the new nuclear restrictions are aimed at pushing other JCPOA signatories to join Washington in violating the deal.

He also adds that “Iran's oil exports are unlikely to reach zero, as Tehran can always find ways to sell its oil on the black market.”

“If President Trump is serious about negotiating with Tehran, he ought to appoint an Iran envoy who doesn't belong to Bolton/Pompeo camp and has a history of positive working relations with Iran,” Vaez tells the Tehran Times.

Following is the full text of the interview:

In a recent development, US exercise the sanctions on Iran nuclear facilities. How can assess this development?

The US is clearly trying to push Iran to walk away from the nuclear deal. The new nuclear restrictions are aimed at pushing other JCPOA signatories to join Washington in violating the deal. The Trump administration is hoping that with this move Russia stops construction of the second Bushehr nuclear reactor and that China halts the work on the new Arak heavy water reactor. The hope is that these setbacks would further motivate Tehran to take retaliatory measures of its own, which in turn will allow the Trump administration to further isolate Iran.

President Trump has said that Saudi Arabia and United Emirates Arabia will fill Iran oil gap in the market Can they do?

It appears that Saudi Arabia and other oil producing countries can make up for the loss of Iranian oil, but the heavy crude market remains quite tight. Any further disruptions, be in in Venezuela or southern Iraq, could result in significant price hikes.

Can they do reduce Iran oil export to zero?

Iran's oil exports are unlikely to reach zero, as Tehran can always find ways to sell its oil on the black market. It appears, however, that Washington has been successful in strong arming countries like China, India and Turkey in significantly reducing their oil imports from Iran, which can potentially send Iran's oil exports to their levels in decades. This undoubtedly will translate into severe stagflation in the Iranian economy. What it is unlikely to do is to force Iran to capitulate or witness economic collapse.

Iran foreign minister recently separated President Trump from "team B"(John Bolton, Mike Pompey). Do you think that President Trump eager to negotiate with Iran regardless Team B?

President Trump seems primarily motivated by negotiating a better deal with Iran. However, he wouldn't be able to achieve that objective with his current national security team. The trouble is every time the president gets impatient about negotiating with Iran, his national security team is likely to advise him against relieving pressure immaturely (the mistake they believe President Obama committed). If President Trump is serious about negotiating with Tehran, he ought to appoint an Iran envoy who doesn't belong to Bolton/Pompeo camp and has a history of positive working relations with Iran.

By Javad Heirannia

MNA

News Code 144949

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