December 2, 2019 / 10:54 AM / 13 days ago

Iran still selling oil despite U.S. sanctions: TV

FILE PHOTO: Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri speaks during a news conference after a meeting with Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Najaf, south of Baghdad, February 18, 2015. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani/File Photo

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran is still selling its oil despite U.S. sanctions on Tehran’s exports, the country’s Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri was quoted on Monday as saying by state TV, adding that Washington’s “maximum pressure” on Tehran had failed.

“Despite America’s pressure ... and its imposed sanctions on our oil exports, we still continue to sell our oil by using other means ... when even friendly countries have stopped purchasing our crude fearing America’s penalties,” Jahangiri said.

Relations between the two foes reached crisis point last year after U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned a 2015 pact between Iran and world powers under which Tehran accepted curbs to its nuclear program in return for the lifting of sanctions.

Speaking at an event in Kentucky on Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the sanctions on Tehran had been effective, resulting in a decrease in Iran’s wealth and diminished ability to trade with the rest of the world.

“The good news is, in spite of what the world told President Trump - that American sanctions would not work - the world was wrong. The sanctions have been incredibly effective,” Pompeo said.

Washington has reimposed sanctions aimed at halting all Iranian oil exports, saying it seeks to force Iran to negotiate to reach a wider deal. But other world powers that signed on to the 2015 nuclear deal have not reinstated their own sanctions.

Tehran has rejected talks unless Washington returns to the nuclear deal and lifts all sanctions.

“They have failed to bring our oil exports to zero as planned,” Jahangiri said.

Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Additional reporting by Daphne Psaledakis in Washington; Editing by Alison Williams, Kirsten Donovan and Andrea Ricci

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