The U.S. State Department has refuted a statement made by a senior Iranian official that the country had agreed to lift all sanctions on Iran's oil and shipping industry.
"During negotiations of this complexity, negotiators try to draft text that capture the main issues, but again, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed," a State Department spokesman told Reuters.
The statement, made on condition of anonymity, came in response to another one, made by the chief of staff of Iran's President earlier this week.
"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 and then quoted by Reuters.
"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.
Reports of the statement made sure to note that the Western nations participating in the U.S.-Iran nuclear negotiations were a lot more guarded in their opinions of the talks, noting that there was no final agreement yet.
"We are making progress but there are still some nuts to crack," Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told media this week as the negotiations are on pause for a while.
"Difficult decisions will need to be made in the coming days or weeks if these negotiations were not to move forward," French Junior Foreign Minister Franck Riester said, as quoted by Reuters.
Oil prices have remained relatively unchanged amid this series of contradictory signals about the nuclear deal, possibly reflecting a guarded sentiment among traders, too. While the benchmarks jumped soon after Vaezi's statement, they quickly retreated, even though the EIA served markets another crude oil inventory drop—and a sizeable one at that.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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