Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has announced Tehran's plans to relocate its main oil export terminal from the Gulf to the Oman Sea, in a move that apparently aims to spare Iranian tankers from using the strategic Strait of Hormuz and continue its oil exports even if the strait is closed.
"This is very important […], it is a very strategic issue for me. A major part of our oil sales must move from Khark [Island terminal, deep in the Gulf] to [Bandar-e-] Jask [in the Oman Sea], Rouhani underscored.
Earlier, he promised that the Islamic Republic "will continue by all means to both produce and export" oil in the face of the US sanctions, according to Iran's state-run IRBA news network.
Right now, Iran is "facing an economic and psychological war, and oil, gas and petrochemicals are on the front line," Rouhani was quoted by the news outlet as saying.
He vowed to go ahead with production and export of oil "though there may be some ups and downs", a task which Rouhani said should be implemented through the joint efforts of all Iranians.
His remarks came a few weeks after Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri voiced hope that the European countries will be able to adhere to their commitments under the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
"But even if they cannot, we are seeking solutions to sell our oil and transfer its revenues," Jahangiri underscored.
Although Brussels pledged to grapple with the anti-Iranian US sanctions by sticking to legislation to allow European businesses to forgo compliance with the sanctions, some major European companies, including French oil giant Total and French carmaker Renault, have already suspended plans to invest in the Islamic Republic since the first phase of US sanctions came into effect on August 7.
In July, Rouhani warned Washington against blocking Iranian oil exports, saying that "it would be meaningless that Iran cannot export its oil while others in the region can."
"Do this if you can and see its consequences," he added without elaborating.
Earlier, the US Department of State's director of policy planning, Brian Hook, stated that Washington's goal was to "increase pressure on the Iranian regime by reducing to zero its revenue from crude oil sales."
Iran has repeatedly threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, cutting off the main oil shipping route, in response to any hostile actions from the US.
Trump announced Washington's exit from the JCPOA on May, also vowing to reinstate "the hardest ever" anti-Iranian sanctions, including those preventing other countries from doing business with Iran.