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Iran Wants Sanctions Lifted on Oil Exports In Nuclear Talks

Iran will prioritize an agreement to be able to legitimately return to exporting its oil during the new round of nuclear talks that began in Vienna today. 

“The most important issue for us is to reach a point where, firstly, Iranian oil can be sold easily and without hindrance,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian was quoted as saying by Iranian media today.

“The most important issue for Iran is to be able to sell its oil easily and receive the money at its banking accounts without any obstructions and the country can use all economic advantages stated in the nuclear deal,” Iranian Fars News Agency quoted the foreign minister as saying.

Talks between Iran and the world powers about the potential return of Iran and the United States to the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) resumed in November in the Austrian capital, following a hiatus of several months until Iran holds a presidential election and appoints a new government.

Since the resumption of the talks last month, however, little progress has been made, and both sides have sounded pessimistic about reaching an agreement, which would ultimately lead to the lifting of the U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil exports.

Iran appears to be preparing to return to exporting oil at some point next year.

The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) will change from January 1 the benchmark against which it prices its crude for Europe and the Mediterranean—a move which traders tell Argus could signal Iran’s intention to return to exporting its oil to Europe.

As of January 1, 2022, the state-controlled oil firm of the Islamic Republic will use the ICE Brent settlement for pricing the crude it would sell to the European and Mediterranean markets instead of the ICE Bwave benchmark, Argus reported earlier this month, quoting NIOC’s January pricing formulas.

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Yet, last week, the U.S. Special Envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, told CNN that the time to revive the JCPOA was running out, which could lead to an “escalating crisis.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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