Iran's Revolutionary Guards says it held war games in Gulf

Javad Zarif tweet

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif's tweet – complete with map

Iran's oil exports could fall by as much as two-thirds by the end of the year because of the United States sanctions, putting oil markets under strain amid supply outages elsewhere in the world.

Ahead of the return of the US sanctions on Iran, India's state refiners boosted their Iranian oil purchases, pushing up Indian oil imports from Iran by 30 percent from June, to a record 768,000 bpd in July, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing preliminary tanker arrival data it had obtained from trade sources.

A decision by U.S. President Donald Trump in May to back out of the deal means U.S. sanctions will snap back into place later this month and in November. "It shows they have not thought about its consequences", Rouhani was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA while on an official visit to Austria's capital, Vienna, in July.

On Friday, Iran's foreign minister took to Twitter to remind U.S. Navy forces that regional waterways were Iran's home turf.

The AP reported that ATR has pushed the USA for permission to send the final seven airplanes to Iran.

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But "if China is not participating in that - they are a pretty big consumer of Iranian crude oil - that leaves global production at a somewhat higher level", he said.

He also said Tehran expects the European countries to bring forward a practical package of proposals to salvage Iranian nuclear deal, also known as JCPOA, after the USA pull-out in May.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing show no signs of easing, with the Asian giant announcing Friday that it has prepared a list of US$60 billion worth of USA goods to hit with tariffs in retaliation for duties proposed by the Trump administration.

China has however agreed it will not increase oil imports from Iran, in a move which would directly challenge the U.S. blockade.

The U.S. military's Central Command on Wednesday confirmed it has seen an increase in Iranian naval activity, including in the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway that Iran's Revolutionary Guards have threatened to block.

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Increased US hostility has also driven a run on Iran's currency, which has lost around two-thirds of its value in six months.

"The unilateral sanctions should be abandoned because they are counterproductive", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters.

HPCL will not buy Iranian oil in August, its chairman M. K. Surana said on Tuesday, and did not comment if the company would resume buying Iranian oil from next month.

USA crude exports have been seesawing over the past month, falling 51 per cent last week after an 84 per cent increase the week earlier, according to the latest Energy Information Administration Data.

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