Iran Sees Highest-ever Oil Exports, Despite US Sanctions
US sanctions on Iran have not hurt its income from oil exports, with the Islamic Republic seeing a rise in exports to new highs in the last two months of 2022 and at the start of 2023, Reuters reports, citing companies that track such exports. The rise is attributed to more shipments to China and Venezuela. China is Iran’s biggest customer, and it could be buying even more oil from Iran because of difficulties in receiving Russian oil due to its war on Ukraine. China’s Foreign Ministry told Reuters it has “legitimate and reasonable cooperation” with Iran though it did not specifically address its import of Iranian oil. Venezuela, which also began receiving more shipments of Iranian oil, also is under US sanctions. Former US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the Iran nuclear deal with the world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Tehran, leading to Iran violating the limits the deal placed on enriching uranium leading to a nuclear weapon. US President Joe Biden has said he wants to revive the deal and entered into negotiations with Iran in April 2121. These talks, including negotiations with the world powers, have been stalled for several months. A revived nuclear deal would allow Iran to increase its oil sales to South Korea and Europe.