The Islamic Republic will never let the U.S. carry out the "wrong" decision to drive oil exports down to zero, the president underlined, saying Washington is going to realize within the next months that Iran will be continuing to export crude.
Oil retreated amid signs of a sharp increase in US crude inventories and concerns over the strength of economic growth in China.
While U.S. President Donald Trump stepped up pressure on the regime with backing for opposition leader Juan Guaido, Tuesday's clashes in Caracas failed to produce any definitive outcome.
The centre on April 23 had said it was adequately prepared to deal with the impact of the U.S. decision to end waivers that allowed it to buy Iranian oil without facing sanctions.
Also supporting prices was government data showing that USA crude production fell in February for the second month in a row, sliding 187,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 11.7 million bpd. The seemingly perennial U.S.
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Brent for June settlement, which expires Tuesday, gained 76 cents to $72.80 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. "There is no doubt that high oil prices are here to stay", said Schallenberger. "Glum alarm bells are ringing louder in the U.S".
US crude production fell to 11.68 million barrels per day (Mmbpd) in February, down from 11.87 Mmbpd in January, the Energy Information Administration said Tuesday. "It shows the march forward to ever-higher production isn't limitless".
On the demand front, weaker Chinese manufacturing activity signals the fragility of the economic stabilization seen in the first quarter.
"Clearly the re-imposition of sanctions and the removal of the waivers will have additional negative impact on the Iranian economy both in terms of growth and in terms of inflation, where inflation could reach 40 percent or even more this year", Jihad Azour, IMF Middle East and Central Asia director, said on April 29, according to Reuters. Those for South Korea, Greece, Italy and Taiwan will also cease. "It will ultimately end up with more oil on the market, but short-term the knee-jerk movement for prices is still up". Restoring normal oil flows through Russia's largest export pipeline could take several months after the crucial conduit was contaminated with chemicals last week.
Iran would not leave OPEC though, Masoud Karbasian, the chief executive of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) said on Wednesday, according to SHANA. Crude shipments from the group to American ports dipped to a 33-year low in February.