The United States has agreed to lift all sanctions on the Iranian oil and shipping industry and to remove several senior officials from a blacklist, Reuters has reported, citing the chief of staff of outgoing President Hassan Rouhani.
"An agreement has been reached to remove all insurance, oil and shipping sanctions that were imposed by (former U.S. President Donald) Trump," Mahmoud Vaezi said, as carried by Iranian state media.
"About 1,040 Trump-era sanctions will be lifted under the agreement. It was also agreed to lift some sanctions on individuals and members of the supreme leader's inner circle," the official added.
However, based on comments from the Western powers participating in the negotiations, the finalization of the new nuclear deal between Tehran and Washington is yet to be reached.
The Reuters report comes on the heels of news that suggested reaching an agreement had just become harder: the U.S. blocked about three dozen Iranian websites, Bloomberg reported earlier today, citing the Department of Justice. The DoJ said the move was made in response to "brazen attempts" on the part of Iran to spread disinformation and mislead Americans.
In response, Iran said the move was "not constructive" in the context of the nuclear talks.
"We are using all international and legal means to... condemn... this mistaken policy of the United States," Mahmoud Vaezi said, as quoted by AFP. "It appears not constructive when talks for a deal on the nuclear issue are under way."
Oil prices have yet to react to these mixed signals, although the report about removing oil sanctions is bound to push benchmarks higher.
Iran, meanwhile, is preparing to return to the international oil markets. In May, Bloomberg reported data that Iran had some 69 million barrels in floating storage, ready to be dispatched to buyers when sanctions were lifted.
This week, state news agency Shana said that the Iranian Offshore Oil Company (IOOC) had started production from a new well at the Abuzar offshore field.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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