DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran said on Wednesday private exporters have had “no problems” selling Iranian oil, and 3 million barrels of crude could be sold soon to non-government traders, state media reported, despite U.S. sanctions targeting Tehran’s oil sales.
Iran began selling crude oil to private companies for export in late October, just ahead of U.S. sanctions on sectors including oil which came into effect in November.
“Those who bought oil on the bourse have been able to export and there have been no problems in this regard,” the state news agency IRNA quoted Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh as saying without giving further details about the exports.
After reimposing the oil sanctions, Washington granted exemptions to eight countries allowing them to temporarily continue buying Iranian oil.
Iran, where crude oil trade is state-controlled, sold 280,000 barrels of crude oil to private companies on an energy exchange in October, followed by 700,000 barrels in November, as part of an export plan to beat U.S. sanctions.
Zanganeh said a state economic body had approved the sale of up to 3 million barrels of oil in a third round of sales to private exporters, IRNA reported.
“A buyer can choose to pay with hard currency or rials for the crude oil on the bourse,” Zanganeh said, adding that details of the sales would be announced soon.
The United States began reimposing sanctions against Iran after withdrawing in May from a multinational 2015 Iran nuclear accord.
(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)