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On Monday, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that the United States has failed to honor the pledges it had made with Iran in its nuclear accord, in which sanctions would be lifted while Iran’s nuclear program was limited.
Khamenei asserted that negotiating with the United States was “futile,” and then asking, “Weren't the supposed sanctions lifted to change the life of the people? Is any tangible effect seen in people's life after six months?"
He also took issue with the rate at which the sanctions were being lifted, stating that the sanctions were supposed to be lifted in a much faster manner than is currently being done. Khamenei also accused the United States of impeding Iran’s economic relations with other countries. He further argued that the U.S. has failed to keep up its end of the deal, stating "Negotiation with such a government means diversion from the correct path of advancement of the country, giving constant concessions and allowing a bullying policy in practice."
Iran contends that while it has fulfilled its end of the bargain, not all of the sanctions have been lifted. The country is still trying to attract foreign investors, many of which are leery of possible prosecution or fines, should they do business in Iran. The U.S. has stated that some of the sanctions are related to issues not covered by the nuclear deal. Khamenei noted that perhaps Iran should look within its own borders in order to develop its economy.
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Under President Hassan Rouhani, oil sales for Iran have gone up, while other projected benefits that were expected to materialize under the agreement have yet to come to fruition. Khamenei’s comments could fuel the ire of conservatives in the Iranian government against Rouhani. The Ayatollah has also taken issue with a recent visit of Saudi nationals to Israel, which he has labeled as treasonous to other Islamic nations.
He opined: “This job by Saudis is a great sin and treason but in this big wrongdoing, Americans have played a role since the Saudi government is possessed by the U.S. government while following and listening to Washington.”
Last month, Mohsen Ghamsari, director of international affairs at state-run National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC), told Bloomberg that Iran had regained 80 percent of the market share it had before the oil sanctions were tightened in 2012, when it was OPEC’s second-largest producer after Saudi Arabia. Iran is currently pumping 3.8 million barrels a day, of which it exports 2 million barrels, the manager noted. The country wants to raise its daily output to 4 million bpd by the end of this year and to pump 5.8 million bpd in crude and condensates combined by 2021.
Lincoln Brown for Oilprice.com
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Lincoln Brown is the former News and Program Director for KVEL radio in Vernal, Utah. He hosted “The Lincoln Brown Show” and was penned a…