Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi said Thursday that Iran’s oil exports have increased by 40 percent and Tehran pursues a dual-track policy of circumventing US sanctions and working for their removal.
Speaking via video link with religious leaders, Raisi said that many believed his government would encounter serious financial problems amid continuing United States sanctions, but oil exports have increased and “we are not worried.”
Raisi who expressed serious concern over Iran’s high inflation rate, reportedly at around 50 percent this year, said the government has no concerns about its foreign currency reserves and the value of the rial.
Iran’s currency has fallen eightfold since the United States withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal, JCPOA, and imposed ‘maximum pressure’ sanctions including third-party penalties for buying Iranian oil. Poverty is increasing in the country, according to state-controlled media, with government trying to slash subsidies because of financial pressures it faces.
Oil exports dropped to around 200,000 barrels per day in 2019, but in late 2020, Tehran increased its sales through illicit channels. China is the biggest buyer, with shipments disguised as exports from other countries.
Negotiation to restore the JCPOA and end US sanctions started last April but so far Iran has pursued a hard bargaining posture and an agreement seems to be far away.