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Iran threatens USA of consequences over oil sanction, offers prisoner swap

Iran threatens USA of consequences over oil sanction, offers prisoner swap

"There's roughly a million barrels per day of Iranian crude (exports) left, and there is plenty of supply in the market to ease that transition and maintain stable prices", Brian Hook, U.S. special representative for Iran, said on Thursday.

The extended rise in prices would come as efforts by Saudi Arabia to make up for oil lost from Iran reduces the world's spare crude output capacity, the economists, led by John Payne, said in a Wednesday note. Earlier, eight countries which include: South Korea, Turkey, India, Taiwan, Greece, Japan, China, and Italy were given a waiver for a certain period and instructed to find alternatives for their need of oil in the meantime.

Oil slid by the most in two months as U.S. President Donald Trump pressed OPEC to cut prices and doubts grew about the impact of supply squeezes from Russian Federation and Iran. Saudi Arabia on Wednesday responded to the USA move to tighten sanctions on Iran, saying it saw no immediate need for action in the oil market.

President Donald Trump's administration has been ramping up pressure on the clerical state, this week vowing to stop all oil exports from Iran by sanctioning any countries that defy its order.

Earlier this month, the U.S. formally designated Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization.

China is the biggest buyer, and Beijing has criticized the move to re-impose sanctions. The exemptions expire May 2, but Saudi Arabia has said it won't significantly raise output next month and will stay within its OPEC production limit until the group's current supply deal expires in June.

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In November that year, Washington reimposed sanctions on exports of Iranian oil but granted waivers to some countries including India which will run out in a week. "There are no (oil) waivers that extend beyond that period, full stop", he said, adding that there would be no grace period for those economies to comply.

Crude hit a six-month high this week after the USA said it wouldn't renew waivers allowing China and other major economies to import 1.4 million Iranian barrels a day.

OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo and officials in Saudi Arabia haven't spoken to Trump about cutting prices, Dow Jones reported on Friday, citing unidentified sources. Speaking at a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday, Rouhani said "Iran's oil exports will not be zero" despite Trump "playing such games".

Saudi Arabia's April crude oil production was almost steady with previous months and will be in the 9.8 million barrels per day (bpd) range or "maybe lower", he added. It exported 2.7 million bpd before the sanctions kicked in a year ago.

"The Iranian-British woman is a separate case", he said. "China will continue buying Iranian crude, perhaps as high as several hundred thousand bpd, to save face". Russia, which said it believed the oil could have been deliberately contaminated, plans to restore oil supplies via its key Druzhba pipeline to Europe in two weeks.