Mehr News Agency – The new US sanctions against Iran will seriously affect oil prices and the entire Middle East, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said. “I am not an expert on this. But I think it is obvious and everybody is predicting that if Iran is out of the market it would have serious effects on the market, including on oil prices,” Abbas Araghchi told Sputnik on Monday. When asked whether Iran was going to act on its threat to block the Strait of Hormuz due to US’ threat to choke off Iran’s oil exports, Araghchi noted that it was “not a threat, ” but “a reality.”
“Obviously, all countries in the Persian Gulf region want to sell their oil, and the world is in need of this region’s oil and other energy resources. So we should make everybody happy in the region and satisfied with the arrangements in the region, so all oil producers can sell their oil and all people in the region can enjoy their life. Any arrangements should be inclusive. If you exclude one country, make sure that one country’s oil sale comes to zero, as [US] President [Donald] Trump wants, that would create problems for the whole region. This is an obvious fact. It does not need any argument,” the diplomat said.
Elsewhere, Araghchi maintained that Tehran believes that Russia’s deliveries of S-300 air defense systems to Syria will contribute to the security and stability of this country. “If the Syrian government decides to buy this and if the Russian government decides to sell it, I’m sure it would be useful for the security of Syria and the stability of that country,” Araghchi added.
The Iranian diplomat then stressed that Tehran is not ruling out the possibility of establishing an alternative to the international payments provider SWIFT to circumvent US sanctions. “As we know Europeans are also working on SWIFT to see how SWIFT can continue working with Iran, or if a parallel [financial] messaging system is necessary or not … It could go either way — either SWIFT can continue working with Iran, or a parallel messaging system could be established for Iran. This is something that we are still working on,” Araghchi said.
Talking about the EU mechanism of transactions with Iran, aimed at circumventing the US sanctions, Araghchi noted that it was “not a vehicle only between Iran and the EU.” “Third countries can also use that. And this is the important element in SPV that it is not only for Europeans but also other countries can use this. We hope that before the reimposition of the second part of the US sanctions [on November 4] these mechanisms can be in place and be functional,” the diplomat said.
Araghchi said that the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, as well as its reinstatement of sanctions against Iran, damaged the balance in the JCPOA, with Iran’s “takes” reduced, and its “gives” remaining the same. He specified that the details of the SPV were not available yet, as it was a “very complicated issue.”
“We know that there are elements who are trying to stop this, who are trying to sabotage the process. I think it’s preferred to be completed first and then be announced. The details will be announced afterwards,” Araghchi stressed.