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US Threatens Iran With Show Of Force

The United States and Iran continued to trade barbs on Wednesday over the Iranian nuclear deal and Iranian oil exports as the United States stands firm on its position that it will succeed in reducing Iranian oil exports to zero, according to a US briefing reported by Asharq Al-Awsat.

The US responded to flare ups in tensions with Iran with Iran’s Special Envoy Brian Hook vowing that any attack against the United States or its allies would be met with a show of force.

Hook assured an unsettled market that it had already factored in Iran’s oil exports falling to zero. Oil prices were up in afternoon trading, with WTI up over 1 percent on the day.

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The strong words from the United States came after Iran announced it would no longer be curbing its nuclear program, threatening to go even further, saying it would resume enriching uranium at a higher level if the EU fails to live up to its end of the agreement by continuing Iranian oil purchases.

“In order to secure its rights and restore balance to the demands of the parties to the agreement, the Islamic Republic of Iran has no option other than "reducing commitments",” Rouhani said in a statement.

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The EU is finding itself between the proverbial rock and hard place as it struggles to not run afoul of US sanctions against a major oil supplier. Reaffirming its commitment to the sanctions, the United States said it would quickly respond to any sanctions violation by the EU.

US Special Assist to the President and Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction added on Wednesday that Iran should expect more sanctions “very soon”.

The United States had announced on Tuesday that it was deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region “to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime.”  

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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