May 27, 2018

UK, EU partners 'firmly committed' to Iran nuclear deal: May

16 May 2018, 11:11 | Cesar Cruz

Trump's Threatened Sanctions Against Iran Could Cost US, European Firms Billions

Iran deal 'not dead', says France

Also on Wednesday, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson pledged not to "walk away" from Iran nuclear deal, and demanded "concrete proposals" from Washington on how to now curtail Tehran's alleged nuclear weapons ambitions after the USA president Donald Trump ditched the landmark agreement.

The British premier discussed the potential impact of USA sanctions on the companies now operating in Iran and the two sides agreed to hold further talks over the issue, the statement added.

U.S. WTI futures slipped 0.9% to $70.70/bbl, capping a 1.4% weekly gain, while Brent crude fell 0.5% to $77.12/bbl, surging almost 3% for the week.

He said Trump's withdrawal also meant multiple cases of "significant non-performance" with the nuclear deal, and "clear non-compliance" with resolution 2231 of the UN Security Council, which endorsed the deal.

Renewing sanctions would make it much harder for Iran to sell its oil overseas or use the global banking system. The EU has vowed to protect its companies, and could even pursue trade retaliation if the U.S. Treasury moves to penalize European companies.

As part of the supply deal, OPEC pledged to cut 1.2 million bpd from supplies from its members.

China and India bought more than half of the oil after sanctions were lifted in January 2016.

Iranian oil is a lucrative buy for refiners as the Persian Gulf nation provides 90 days of credit for purchases, at least thrice the amount of time given by other producers. Total volume traded was about 17% above the 100-day average.

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Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono said May 9 that his country had supported the nuclear deal, which "helps to strengthen global non-proliferation and the stability in the Middle East".

Subject to certain wind-down periods described below, the USA withdrawal from the JCPOA will impact primarily non-U.S. persons, as almost all sanctions relief provided by the United States pertained to secondary sanctions (i.e., sanctions that apply to non-U.S. persons acting outside US jurisdiction). Pertinently, North Korea believes it can at least rely on China as a buffer against potential USA aggression; Iran does not have a similar faith in Europe.

Saudi Arabia said it would work with other producers to lessen the impact of any shortage in oil supplies.

Weekly U.S. crude oil production hit another record last week, climbing to 10.7 million barrels per day (bpd).

"President Trump has already stepped up pressure on OPEC to end supply cuts due to higher U.S. gasoline prices looming", Citi analysts said. "With prices moving close to $US80 a barrel and with a great opportunity presented to Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation to regain market share without crashing the oil price, we think there is a good chance the current OPEC+ deal will end by the end of 2018, if not before". Effective November 5, 2018, General License H - which authorized non-U.S. entities owned or controlled by US persons to engage in certain activities with Iran - will be terminated, after which point such activities will be prohibited. The Iranian rial was already struggling amid rumours that the deal would collapse, and according to the Washington Post the rial was trading at 66,000 to the USA dollar on the black market despite a government-set rate of 42,000 rials.

When sanctions were loosened against Tehran in 2016, India ramped up imports from Iran to nearly 900,000 bpd in late 2016, but intake has fallen back to around 500,000 bpd since the start of the year.

Higher oil income would improve liquidity in the UAE banking sector, aiding the whole financial industry despite any rise in geopolitical tensions related to Iran, he told Reuters.

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