India's Iranian oil intakes jump to record high in July

Javad Zarif Hassan Rouhani

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif with President Hassan Rouhani

Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the multilateral deal with Iran in May and announced plans to reimpose sanctions on the Islamic Republic, that would eliminate Tehran's oil revenues.

Iran said its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps held a naval exercise in the Strait of Hormuz last week "within the framework of their annual training program".

Last month, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei backed President Hassan Rouhani's suggestion that Iran may block Gulf oil exports if its own exports are stopped.

Iran will not sit down for negotiations under pressures, in particular with U.S. President Donald Trump who "has breached obligations", Iran's Foreign Ministry Bahram Qasemi said Saturday.

On Sunday Iran Air will take delivery of five ATR commercial aircraft from the French-Italian firm, slipping in under the wire before the sanctions return.

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USA officials told Reuters on Thursday that the United States believed Iran had started carrying out naval exercises in the Gulf, apparently moving up the timing of annual drills amid heightened tensions with Washington.

The nuclear deal lifted worldwide sanctions in return for Iran limiting its nuclear program and allowing regular inspections.

She told CNBC with regards to the USA sanctions against Iran kicking in next week, "we're looking at tougher rhetoric and potentially tougher actions over August and September".

Iran had hoped the lifting of sanctions would allow it to replace its aging commercial airline fleet, but the USA withdrawal has halted billion-dollar deals struck with Airbus and Boeing.

A second wave of sanctions will be re-imposed in November that target Iran's energy and banking sectors.

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United States officials are now travelling the world in a dramatic effort to stop other countries from buying Iranian oil.

To keep its shipment flowing Iran has offered insurance for oil cargo and ships to supply oil to India, its top oil client after China.

The exercise was held with aim of "controlling and maintaining the security of the global waterway of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, and to proportionately counter any threats by the enemy", semiofficial Tasnim news agency reported.

State refiners accounted for about four-fifth of Iranian oil imports in July with Indian Oil Corp along with its unit Chennai Petroleum Corp getting about 300,000 bpd oil from Tehran, the preliminary data showed. He did not elaborate.

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