Iran warns of firm response if Israel acts against its oil shipments

Iranian minister predicts booming defense industry next year

While saying no decision has been made yet, State Department Representative for Iran Brian Hook suggests that the USA is poised to increase its crackdown on oil exports by both Iran and Venezuela, on the grounds that the world can take it.

He said the United States is monitoring global supplies for impact from sanctions.

According to an official schedule, following the meeting with top oil executives on Houston, Pompeo would be speaking at HIS Markit's CERAWeek conference, the largest annual gathering of United States oil and gas industry. "But we also know that there are a lot of variables that go into a well-supplied and stable oil market", said Hook, a senior policy adviser to Pompeo. Officials have also said that the oil shortage issue can be resolved by using other nations' tankers.

Brian Hook, the State Department's special representative on Iran, on March 13 reiterated the US policy, telling an industry conference in Houston that Washington was committed to bringing Iranian crude exports to zero.

Mike Salthouse with the International Group, which represents companies that insure about 90 percent of the world's commercial shipping, said Western insurers were very unlikely to do business with Iranian shipping companies.

Following the last round of sanctions imposed by the United States on Iran this past November that further crippled its oil-based economy, the Islamic Republic resolved to "proudly bypass" them claiming they violated worldwide law after the United States chose to quit the 2016 JCPOA that stalled sanctions in exchange for Iran's curtailing its nuclear program.

South Korea A second Iranian official said talks with South Korea over the possibility of ordering as many as 10 supertankers, each able to carry up to 2 million barrels of oil, had been delayed by US sanctions.

"We are working on it", the official said.

Iran was hoping to sell more than 500,000 bpd of oil to India in 2018/19, its oil minister Bijan Zanganeh said a year ago, and had offered nearly free shipping and an extended credit period to boost sales to the country.

Iran warns Israel of 'firm response' if it acts against oil
'Israel to Face Tough Response If Threatens Iranian Tankers'

The sanctions have started to have an effect on the Iranian economy and the regime is desperate to find ways around sanctions.

"Zeroing out could prove hard", Reuters quoted one of the sources as saying.

A spokesman for Daewoo said it signed a preliminary agreement with Iran in December 2016 to cooperate on developing the shipyard, but said no progress had been made since then.

Both sources said they were briefed by the Trump administration on the matter but were not authorized to speak publicly about it and asked for anonymity.

Oil traders do not want to enter Iran.

"Banks will not engage when you mention the Iran word". A third Iranian official said talks were still ongoing.

Vietnamese officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Shipping data showed at least two Panama flagged tankers - the Sarak and the Sobar - were re-flagged to Iran on January 1.

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