Trump blasts OPEC, warns European companies against business with Iran

Iran urges OPEC to adhere to production quota

Iran urges OPEC to adhere to production quota

Iran's first vice president is saying the country's private sector will be able to buy and export crude oil under a new plan to combat US sanctions.

Iran had been pushing hard for oil producers to hold output steady as USA sanctions are expected to hit its exports.

"We will surely do something to thwart the USA rallying cry that Iranian oil must be stemmed", First Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri said in statements broadcast on state television.

Trump said in a tweet on Saturday that Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud had agreed to produce more oil.

European countries have been attempting to negotiate exemptions for their firms, but the official confirmed that US President Donald Trump intends to stick to his deadline.

Shortly after, the White House backtracked on Trump's statement, saying that Riyadh is ready for measures aimed at stabilizing the oil market.

The US-led sanctions are aimed at pressuring Iran to negotiate a follow-up agreement to halt its nuclear programme, following Trump's withdrawl from a 2015 nuclear deal agreed between Iran and six major powers.

Late last week, Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh urged the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to prevent some of its members from increasing output without arriving at a consensus.

Trump threatened in an interview that aired on Sunday to put sanctions on European companies that do business with Iran.

"The (Iranian) government has a plan. and God willing we are certain that we will be able to sell as much oil as we want", he said.

"They seek to push Iranian exports of crude, condensate, and oil products to zero", energy consultancy FGE said in a note.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says he believes the U.S. sanctions are meant to turn the public against the government, and won't succeed. "Iran. OK. You think of it. Iran is their big enemy, so they are going to have to do it", Trump said.

Jahangiri said: "They're begging the Saudis to raise their output so that if Iran's quota decreases nothing will happen to the markets".

Iran and Saudi Arabia broke off diplomatic relations in 2016 and are locked in several proxy wars in the Middle East, including in Yemen.

India, the biggest buyer of Iranian oil after China, already asked refiners on Thursday to prepare for a "drastic reduction or zero" of imports of Iranian oil in order to protect its exposure to the USA financial system.

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