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OPEC chief: Ditching Iran deal would harm global economy

12 May 2018

Iran is the third largest supplier of crude oil to India after Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

The head of OPEC has warned that a decision by President Donald Trump to abandon the Iran nuclear deal would harm the global economy.

But that's exactly what Iran Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on state television Thursday.

Trump's decision could eventually mean less oil on the world market from Iran because now the US will reimpose economic sanctions on Iran that were lifted as part of the 2015 deal.

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Trump announced his intent on Tuesday to quit the Iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on the country. "US Iran sanctions are hardly hitting any US companies, but aim primarily at European ones", Carl Bildt, the co-chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations, said in a tweet. In order to preserve the nuclear deal, the European Union should take a firm stance and guarantee that Iran's legitimate interests are not violated, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

There have been apprehensions that the USA decision may adversely impact New Delhi's oil import from the Persian Gulf nation as well as Chabahar port project.

"Europe and China will not fight against the US sanctions".

U.S. president Donald Trump on Tuesday pulled out of a 2015 global deal with Iran, making investors nervous about rising risks of conflict in the Middle East and about oil supplies in a tight market.

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USA oil prices have gained more than 16% since the start of the year. When Iran was under crippling worldwide sanctions in 2015, they exported just 1 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil, mainly to Asia and European countries. Its effective cut is closer to 1.8 million bpd due to involuntary losses in some countries, according to industry estimates, before any impact on Iran is considered.

U.S. president Donald Trump's decision to reinstate sanctions on Iran will not have much impact on India's trade relations with Iran, Commerce Secretary Rita Teotia said on Wednesday.

Tourism in Iran had also benefited from the nuclear deal, with visitor numbers increasing from 3.8 million visitors in 2012 to over 5 million in 2015, and this could also be affected by renewed sanctions. Venezuela's oil output has halved since the early 2000s to just 1.5 million bpd, as the country has failed to invest enough to keep its production and refinery facilities maintained.

Last week, Britain, France and Germany had urged the Trump administration not to revoke the deal, arguing that the agreement was the best way of stopping Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

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To pressure allies, the USA intends to apply "secondary sanctions" on non-American firms that do business with Iran.

OPEC chief: Ditching Iran deal would harm global economy