USA aims to reduce Iran’s oil revenue to zero

Oil's early gains came after the website president.ir quoted Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as dismissing Washington's attempt to stop Iran's oil exports. Tehran, however, vowed on Sunday to foil any USA bid to block its oil exports.

The White House later walked back the president's comments, saying the king said his country can raise oil production if needed. New US sanctions against Tehran are on the way as the largest three producers in the world - Russia, Saudi Arabia and America - are increasing output.

Rising gasoline prices could create a political headache for Trump ahead of the November elections by offsetting Republican claims that his tax cuts and rollbacks of federal regulations have helped boost the economy.

There are also unconfirmed reports of the USA using its strategic reserves to send oil lower. "We are working to minimize disruptions to the global market but we are confident there is sufficient global spare oil capacity".

The president also had tough words for other USA allies.

Trump announced earlier this year that he would pull the USA out of the pact, which offered Tehran sanctions relief in exchange for curbing its nuclear program.

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Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says he believes the United States sanctions are meant to turn the public against the government, and won't succeed.

"Recurring salvos in the trade war and falling asset prices raise the question of how much tariffs could damage the global economy", United States bank JPMorgan said.

Trump's plans to impose sanctions on Iran, coupled with low production from Venezuela and blockades on some ports in Libya have continued to tighten global supply, pushing up oil prices.

"Our attempt is to defeat USA policies in the sale of oil and we are pretty sure we will sell our oil as much as we need", he added. "Iran. OK. You think of it. Iran is their big enemy, so they are going to have to do it", Trump said.

Matthew Smith, the director of commodity research at ClipperData, told UPI that oil prices so far this week are moving on one hand on OPEC pledges of more production, but correcting later on fears of supply-side strains. The International Energy Agency estimates OPEC's spare capacity could fall in to around 2.5 mbpd (excluding Iran) - by the first half of 2019, its lowest level since the end of 2016 when record production from the Middle East reduced spare capacity to around 1.9 million bpd.

Iran possesses the second-largest gas reserves on the planet after Russian Federation and the fourth-largest oil supply, while Saudi Arabia is the world's biggest oil exporter.

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