- Top Regime Officials Repeat Tough Lines Against US in Nuclear Talks
- Journalist Samimi Released After Almost 6 Years in Prison
Iran’s officials have put out another assurance that Tehran can immediately export oil to Europe as soon as a comprehensive nuclear deal is signed with the 5+1 Powers.
Mohsen Qamsari, the director for international affairs of the National Iranian Oil Company, said on Sunday that Iran can ship almost half of the supplies that it provided before the European Union barred any Iranian imports by its members in 2012.
Qamsari said spot deals will provide for the exports until European clients finish existing annual contracts.
Iranian State media have published daily declarations for weeks that Tehran will attract billions of dollars in foreign investment, as well as sharply increasing exports, when a nuclear deal is concluded.
Iran and the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia) held their latest meeting in Vienna on Friday to discuss the final text of an agreement. Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Abbas Araqchi, and the European Union’s deputy foreign policy head Helga Schmid have led teams drafting the deal in hundreds of hours of sessions since late April.
Iran’s oil exports have been slashed by half, to about 1.1 to 1.2 million barrels per day, since 2012. Almost all of the exports go to four Asian countries: China, South Korea, India, and Japan.
Tehran’s oil production has fallen in the same period from more than 4 million bpd to about 2.7 million.
Top Regime Officials Repeat Tough Lines Against US in Nuclear Talks
The Supreme Leader’s top foreign policy advisor, Ali Akbar Velayati, has repeated Ayatollah Khamenei’s warnings about US “aggression” in nuclear discussions: “If the talks are to go ahead on track, they should be balanced and [held] in an atmosphere of interaction.”
Velayati said on Sunday that US officials should stop issuing threats not seek to achieve their objectives through “political hypocrisy”.
The Supreme Leader has condemned recent American statements, including by Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, that “all military options remain on the table” if diplomacy fails with Iran.
On Saturday, Khamenei denounced the US as the “designer and supporter of terrorism” in the Middle East.
Meanwhile, leading MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi repeated the regime’s line that Iran will not allow unrestricted inspection of military sites under a nuclear deal.
Boroujerdi said Tehran would join the Additional Protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but this did not grant the International Atomic Energy Agency unlimited access.
IAEA head Yukiya Amano raised the stakes last week when he said that the Agency must be allowed to inspect sites at any time.
Journalist Samimi Released After Almost 6 Years in Prison
Journalist Keyvan Samimi has been released after almost six years in prison.
Samimi, the editor-in-chief of the banned newspaper Nameh, was arrested on June 13, 2009, the day after the disputed Presidential election. He was sentenced in February 2010 to six years and a lifetime ban on journalism for propaganda against the state, assembly and conspiracy to act against national security, participation in protests, and a statement questioning the outcome of the election.
He spent almost 120 days in solitary confinement for “crimes” such as photographs of his celebration, with fellow imprisoned journalist Masoud Bastani, celebrating the anniversary of the Green Movement.