Iran Demands U.S. Apologize For "Illegal" Sanctions

Brent crude oil daily chart channel keeps it bullish

USA attempts to drive Iranian oil exports down to zero come against the backdrop of a global market that is sufficiently well supplied to avoid price disruptions, senior USA officials said on Thursday.

Jefferies bank said "a drop to 500,000 to 600,000 barrels per day (bpd) now seems realistic" for Iranian oil exports, adding that "at least China and potentially India and Turkey will continue to import Iranian crude".

"We see a risk that oil price rises have further to run, as the impact of USA sanctions on Iran bites". Saudi Arabia on Wednesday responded to the United States move to tighten sanctions on Iran, saying it saw no immediate need for action in the oil market.

"Brent crude oil has rallied above $75 per barrel for the first time this year on the back of tighter sanctions on Iran, while gains in West Texas Intermediate [WTI] have been curtailed by a surge in U.S. supply", noted Dean Popplewell, markets analyst at Oanda trading group.

The Associated Press quoted Zarif as saying that Trump's aim "is to bring us to our knees to talk", while Bolton as well as USA allies in the Middle East want "regime change at the very least" and the "disintegration of Iran". China is the world's largest buyer of Iranian oil.

Saudi Arabia has been cooperating with Russian Federation in recent years to manage global oil supplies.

Iran is already feeling the impact of renewed USA sanctions put in place in November, the loss of more oil revenue will only exacerbate its current economic woes. Greece, Italy and Taiwan are believed to have eliminated imports from Iran.

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Iran's Foreign Ministry on Thursday warned Saudi Arabia and Bahrain of the consequences of supporting the USA decision to end waivers for importers of Iran's oil.

Earlier this month, however, Moscow - which has struggled to comply with a pact with OPEC countries to cut their combined oil output - signalled that it wanted to instead raise oil output to take advantage of recent spike in oil prices.

OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo and officials in Saudi Arabia haven't spoken to Trump about cutting prices, Dow Jones reported on Friday, citing unidentified sources.

The market looked ready for a pullback anyway, with optimistic bets on prices far outweighing pessimistic ones, said Bob Yawger, futures director at Mizuho Securities USA. Of course, it did not indicate how it would reply if asked for more oil production from President Trump - a likely development since oil has now breached the mid-$70s price point and is likely to hit the low $80 soon.

Iran is prepared to hold talks with the USA only once Washington lifts pressure on Tehran and apologizes, says Iran's President Hassan Rouhani.

He added: "What is unacceptable about what Iran is doing is that they are putting innocent people in prison and using it as leverage". China may barter for the oil or wall off banks to handle transactions in renminbi. The move cut parts of Europe off from a major supply route.

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