Iran Prepares to Export Crude Oil at Full Capacity

Iran has instructed its Oil Ministry to prepare installations for production and sale/export of crude oil at full capacity within three months, state media said on Sunday.

They quoted President Hassan Rouhani as saying that Iran exported more than two million barrels a day before U.S. President Donald Trump exited the 2015 nuclear deal with six powers in 2018 and reimposed sanctions that have hit Iran’s economy hard by sharply cutting its vital oil exports.

The report comes ahead of a possible easing of U.S. sanctions after President-elect Joe Biden takes office in January.

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, who will take office on Jan. 20, has said that he would return to the pact and would lift sanctions if Tehran returned to “strict compliance with the nuclear deal”.

Rouhani said on Sunday that his country was preparing for a speedy increase of its oil production, the official IRNA news agency reported.

It is estimated that Iran exports less than 300,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), compared to a peak of 2.8 million bpd in 2018.

Energy analyst Rashid Hussain Syed says there are two aspects of this news.

“In the back drop of reports of imminent Israeli attack, Iran wants to appear strong and optimist”. “This was also to take the nation out of any despondency on the issue”, he says.

However, according to him, the other aspect is to show to the world and its own people that as soon as Biden gets into power, Iran’s bad days would be over and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Iran, says the Toronto-based analyst, is also endeavoring to eclipse the fact that in case of an Israeli attack, Biden’s room to maneuver on Iran issue would be greatly reduced. “Returning to the nuclear deal then would not be easy”, he says.

“The announcement appears more to be a PR exercise”.

According to reports, Iran’s inflation Rate is hovering between 300% and 400% and a GDP of minus 12 (-12).

“There’s no Foreign Currency with the Central Bank of Iran. No imports because there’s no money to import,” says a source in Iran who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“If this would go on, I believe Iran would face famine or an acute food insecurity”. “Everybody is waiting for Joe Biden to come and rescue Iran,” he adds.