Iran preps 'industrial-scale' nuke production after USA leaves nuclear deal

Donald Trump Emmanuel Macron Angela Merkel

President Mr Donald Trump's decision to exit the Iran nuclear deal has already pushed Brent prices above United States dollars 77 per barrel.

President Donald Trump said May 8 Washington was withdrawing from Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the deal that suspended sanctions on Tehran in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear ambitions.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and Trump agreed in a phone call that talks were needed to discuss how United States sanctions on Iran would affect foreign companies operating in the country. "Iranian is not the only crude".

Iran says its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes only.

USA sanctions on Iran will have a six-month period during which buyers should "wind down" oil purchases, meaning any loss of supply will not be immediately felt in the market. A muted reaction from Iran would paint the U.S.as the aggressor, allowing Iran to more latitude to skirt US enforcement.

Earlier on the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel also reaffirmed their commitment to preserving the 2015 landmark nuclear agreement despite the USA move to pull out of it.

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The minister's outburst seemed to conflict with rhetoric he spouted on the same day, to the effect that "Trump's decision [to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal] will not have any impact on our oil export. that era is history now"; Zanganeh added that his industry would survive even if foreigners decided not to do business with the Islamic republic for fear of us penalties.

If I allow this deal to stay, it will set off a nuclear arms race in the middle east. While Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal might be meant to show Kim Jong Un that the U.S. president follows through with his threats, it may also reinforce fears that Washington's negotiations can not be taken seriously - and that Pyongyang still needs its nuclear deterrent to ensure its survival.

"We're doing nothing", said the head of trading at another European refiner.

The sanctions seek to punish Iran for its nuclear program by limiting its ability to sell oil or do business overseas, affecting a wide range of Iranian economic sectors and individuals.

Kim Jong Un will, justifiably, be hesitant to enter into any new agreement with the United States - especially one that is more onerous than the Iran nuclear agreement, and also one that the United States won't necessarily honour irrespective of compliance by North Korea.

The biggest single buyer of Iran's crude is China, whose imports peaked at about 900,000 bpd in mid-2016 but have dropped to around 600,000 bpd in 2018, according to Thomson Reuters ship-tracking data.

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The sanctions come amid an oil market that has been tightening due to strong demand, especially in Asia, and as top exporter Saudi Arabia and top producer Russian Federation have led efforts since 2017 to withhold oil supplies to prop up prices.

The strategists pegged this forecast on stronger global economic growth, which should increase oil consumption.

Analysts at Commerzbank said Friday current price levels indicated the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries was now "regaining the price power it had lost" in the wake of the first USA shale boom that led to the price drop over three years ago.

Despite this, markets were held in check by a rise in U.S. drilling for new oil production.

When sanctions were loosened against Tehran in 2016, India ramped up imports from Iran to nearly 900,000 bpd in late 2016, but intake has fallen back to around 500,000 bpd since the start of the year.

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