Iran on Monday announced that the 2.1 million barrels of crude aboard an Iranian oil tanker pursued by the US has been sold to an unnamed buyer. Government spokesman Ali Rabiei declined to name the oil’s buyer, nor terms for the sale. At market rates, the crude oil aboard the Adrian Darya would be worth about USD 130 million. However, anyone buying it likely would be targeted by US financial sanctions.
“The buyer of the oil decides where its destination is,” Rabiei said, adding that the world is “witnessing the wrong policy by the US in monitoring and intervention in others’ internal affairs.”
In the time since, Iran has lost billions of dollars in business deals, as the US re-imposed and escalated sanctions largely blocking Tehran from selling crude abroad, a crucial source of hard currency for the Islamic Republic.
On Monday, United States President Donald Trump on Monday said that he was ready to meet his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani if the circumstances were "correct."
"If the circumstances were correct, I would certainly agree to that," he said at the G7 summit in France, where President Emmanuel Macron attempted to defuse the tensions between Tehran and Washington by hosting Iran's foreign minister for talks.
Hinting at a major diplomatic shift, the US President even said that talks with Rouhani within weeks sound realstic. The remarks from the Trump came during the ongoing G7 Summit in French city of Biarritz.
Last year Trump pulled the US out of an international accord designed to curb Iran’s nuclear program and has reimposed sanctions on Iran—and even slapped them on Zarif this week—in an effort to force it to renegotiate the agreement.
Tensions soared in the Gulf in June and July amid attacks on oil tankers, Iran’s downing of an unmanned US surveillance drone and after the US said it had downed an Iranian drone. Trump has said the attack against the US drone prompted him to order a military strike in response, only to call it off at the last minute.