"My advice to you, Mr. President, is to avoid touching the SPR – to cool down and give up sanctioning Iranian oil," senior Iranian oil representative Hossein Kazempour Ardebili told Bloomberg News.
"Mr. President, as I have foreseen earlier, it seems you are resorting to the SPR due to the fact that there is no spare capacity to cover for Iranian exports –but there will be many repercussions," Kazempour warned.
The Trump administration has pressed Saudi Arabia and other US allies and partners to step up to replace Iranian crude exports when sanctions are renewed. The International Energy Agency estimates that up to half of Tehran's exports could be affected by the US move. According to the US media, some of Trump's advisers are categorically opposed to selling off America's emergency oil reserves, stressing that this should be done only in case of extreme need.
Earlier this month, Kazempour warned that Washington should 'think twice' about the global impact a halt to Iran's exports of oil would have. "But we are a civilized nation, and a responsible government," the official added.
OPEC and Russia announced plans to increase the world oil supply last month, justifying the move by saying that failure to do so may lead to $100 a barrel oil prices amid a perceived deficit in global supply.