Iran official says US showing 'some flexibility' on oil sales

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi was quoted as saying "the US side has shown some flexibility in the licensing of Iranian oil sales".
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi was quoted as saying "the US side has shown some flexibility in the licensing of Iranian oil sales".PHOTO: REUTERS

DUBAI (REUTERS) - A senior Iranian official said on Saturday (Aug 31) the United States had shown flexibility on the licensing of Iranian oil sales and this was a sign that Washington's "maximum pressure" policy against Teheran had been defeated, state media reported.

French President Emmanuel Macron paved the way at a Group of Seven (G-7) summit a week ago for a potential diplomatic solution to a confrontation between the US and Iran brewing since US President Donald Trump withdrew Washington last year from world powers' 2015 nuclear deal with Teheran.

"Mr Macron met... Mr Trump during the G-7 meeting and the US side has shown some flexibility in the licensing of Iranian oil sales," Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi was quoted by the state news agency IRNA as saying.

"This is a breach in the US maximum pressure policy and a success for Iran's policy of maximum resistance," he said.

Mr Araqchi did not elaborate, and there was no immediate French or US comment.

Since ditching the nuclear deal, calling it flawed to Iran's advantage, Mr Trump has reimposed sanctions to strangle its vital oil trade and force Teheran to accept stricter limits on its nuclear activity, curb its ballistic missile programme and end its support for proxy forces around the Middle East.

Mr Araqchi said Iran and its European partners in the nuclear deal faced "difficult and complex" talks towards salvaging the pact.

 

He said Teheran was determined to continue reducing its commitments under the accord until it received protection against sanctions on its oil sales and banking transactions.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged his people on Wednesday to unite to overcome Washington's "economic war" while his government said it would use diplomacy to try to solve the stand-off even though it distrusted Mr Trump.