Iran to withstand sanctions; U.S. isolated

Secretary Jeremy Hunt

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that United States President Donald Trump's administration will "regret" the newly-imposed sanctions on his country.

In Moscow's first official reaction since the restoration of Washington's bans on Tehran, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that the United States sanctions are "not legitimate".

The market focused on record U.S. crude production and signals from Iraq, Abu Dhabi and Indonesia that output will grow more quickly than expected in 2019.

Lavrov emphasized that Russian Federation and its European partners were looking for ways to maintain economic ties with Iran.

The State Department warned the global shipping and insurance industries on November 7 that as part of Washington's "maximum pressure campaign" to get Iran to change its behavior, insuring Iranian tankers will now incur penalties under the sanctions reinstated this week. All of them maintain that they will continue to trade with Iran.

Broader oil markets continue to see steady declines, and WTI barrels have fallen by 20% in barely sick weeks.

China's crude imports rose to 9.61 million barrels per day (bpd) in October, up 32 per cent from a year earlier, customs data showed.

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"Iran's situation is better than pre-2016 because of high oil prices and the fact that the United States is isolated this time", said a European diplomat who asked not to be further identified.

Italy and Turkey have been importing around 200,000 bpd of oil from Iran over the past two years, with Greece importing less than 100,000 bpd. "Because you have a monopoly called OPEC [the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries], and I don't like that monopoly". We have so many countries that are on our side.

Worldwide oil customers should brace for pain as US sanctions on Iran take hold, the Islamic Republic's oil minister has warned, arguing that waivers Washington granted to eight major oil-importing countries are not enough to keep global markets stable.

The Chabahar Port is considered a gateway to golden opportunities for trade by India, Iran and Afghanistan with central Asian countries besides ramping up trade among the three countries after Pakistan denied transit access to India.

Iran emerged in early 2016 from years of global sanctions under a deal with world powers that curbed its disputed nuclear programme. Even its allies UK, France and Germany, who were co-signatories to the JCPOA, have refused to accept the sanctions.

Unlike India, China has denounced the new U.S. sanctions. While ordinary Iranians struggled, Iran's clerical and security establishment and business world sought kept the economy running by means including resorting to barter as well as foreign currencies other than the U.S. dollar.

But India is locked into a strategic embrace with the United States due to the Modi government's eagerness to be a subordinate ally. To defy the United States sanctions and preserve its strategic autonomy would require a break from this strategic alliance - something which the Modi regime can not even contemplate.

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