Iran

Supreme Leader’s Top Military Advisor: US Anti-Iran Oil Policy to Fail

Top Military Aide to the Iranian Leader Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi blasted US President Donald Trump for continuing his hostile policies against Iran, and said Washington’s sanctions will surely fail similar to the past.

“The US’ policy of unilateralism against other countries, including Iran, will result in failure and will make Trump lose his chance in the upcoming presidential elections in his country,” Major General Rahim Safavi said.

He underlined that Tehran will continue crude sales despite the US sanctions, and warned that Washington against making any mistake in the Persian Gulf to block Iran’s free oil trade.

“Iran, with 154 billion, has the second oil reservoir in the region after Saudi Arabia, and it is the biggest gas reservoir after Russia which makes the country the most powerful one in the world in terms of gas and oil reservoirs,” Major General Safavi added.

“Today, Iran is the pivot of stability and security and the first power in the region with a determining role in West Asia,” he said.

In relevant remarks on Friday, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) do not have the capacity to replace his country’s supply in the oil market, after the new round of US’ bans on Iran’s oil exports are implemented on May 1.

Zanganeh accused Saudi Arabia and the UAE of exaggerating their ability to replace the country’s oil in the wake of a renewed push by Washington to zero Tehran’s exports by implementing “brutal” economic sanctions.

“I believe they are overstating their oil capacities,” Zanganeh said, after Saudi and Emirati officials pledged to make up for any potential oil supply shortages that may result in the absence of Iranian oil in the global market.

The ambitious pledges by Washington’s staunch Arab allies came shortly after the White House announced that it would no longer renew waivers that allowed Tehran’s eight largest customers purchase Iranian oil. The exemptions will expire on May 1.

The measure threatens buyers of Iranian oil with sanctions and other punishments if they fail to stop their purchases beyond May 1. The move quickly sent global crude prices to their highest levels since last November.

Zanganeh on Friday addressed concerns about the seriousness of United States President Donald Trump’s recent drive “to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero”, stressing that US sanctions-related measures were “no bluff”.

“(These measures) are very brutal provocations against the Iranian nation,” he added.

US oil sanctions on Iran is not a political bluff, rather, it is extreme hostility waged by the United States against the noble nation of Islamic Iran, oil minister reiterated.

On Thursday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi deplored the Saudi and Bahraini governments for supporting the US sanctions against Tehran, stressing that the country will not allow other states to take its place in the oil market.

Mousavi condemned Saudi Arabia and Bahrain for “blind obedience to the US government”, warning against the negative consequences of the hostile move to choke off Iran’s oil exports.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will not allow any country to take its place in the oil market,” he said.

Mousavi added that Iran will hold the US and those countries accountable for the negative consequences of attempts to chock Iranian oil exports.

He referred to the recent execution of 37 Saudi nationals by Riyadh, calling on the international community to confront the Saudi government on its deranged measures.

Mousavi further warned the regional countries against the Saudi attempts to sow discord in the region with the support of the US administration.

The White House said on Monday waivers for China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey would expire in May, after which they could face US sanctions themselves if they buy the Iranian oil.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday downplayed the effects of Washington’s decision to end sanctions waivers on Iran’s oil sales, and dismissed talks with the US administration which uses the language of threat and force to demand negotiations.

“We have always been people who favor talks and diplomacy as we are people of war and defense. Negotiations will be possible when all pressures are taken off, they (the US) apologize for their illegal measures and when there is mutual respect. Undoubtedly, demands by a knife-stabbing person who lies and is using force to hold talks is not accepted and we do not negotiate with a knife-stabbing person and with the formula of knife-stabbing, as accepting such negotiations means humiliation and surrender,” President Rouhani said, addressing a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday.

He said that the US was no way ready for negotiations, reminding that Washington’s 4-decade-long plots against the Iranian nation had all ended in fiasco and failure for the White House.

“And they will fail in their plots again,” Rouhani underscored.

He played down the US threats to zero Iran’s oil exports, saying, “This is not possible and we will sell our oil in different ways, while this move by the US is an oppression against all the world nations, international oil firms and even its own nation.”

President Rouhani said Iran was pleased with all its neighbors, except Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and sent them a tacit warning. “They should note their acts and behavior. Saudi Arabia and the UAE should know that they have survived because of the wise decision made by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s government.”

He explained that when Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein occupied Kuwait in 1990s he sent a message to demand Iran’s cooperation with Baghdad in occupation of other Persian Gulf Arab states, but his offer was turned down by Iran.

“It was the Islamic Republic of Iran which saved Saudi Arabia; had we made another decision in that period of time, there would have been no sign of Saudi Arabia and the UAE,” Rouhani said.

He blasted Riyadh and Doha for their collaboration with the US in pressuring Iran through compensating for Iran’s production share to be lost under the new US decision.

“You know that the Islamic Republic of Iran is the main regional power and if it changes its decision, it will bring it into action; therefore, you must choose a path beneficial to the regional and world nations and the market,” President Rouhani said.

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