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    Obama Upholds Iran Oil Sanctions

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    US President Barack Obama renewed sanctions on the purchase of petroleum and petroleum products from Iran as a group of international mediators and Tehran work out the details of a final deal on Iran's nuclear program, which authorities insist is purely peaceful.

    "There is a sufficient supply of petroleum and petroleum products from countries other than Iran to permit a significant reduction in the volume of petroleum and petroleum products purchased from Iran by or through foreign financial institutions," Obama said in a statement.

    The restrictions on selling and purchasing Iranian oil were introduced in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 under section 1245 that targeted Iran's Central Bank. The move was aimed at reducing Iran's oil revenues as a bargaining tool in negotiations.

    Iranian officials have insisted that sanctions are an inefficient measure and the country would not be coerced into a deal it does not consider a win.

    Iran was allowed to sell up to a million barrels of crude daily after Tehran and the P5+1 group, comprising China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany, reached a preliminary agreement, known as the Joint Plan of Action, in November 2013.

    Last month, Iran agreed to cut back its uranium enrichment and let international monitors verify the process as part of a framework agreement with the international mediators. The parties have until the end of June to sign a comprehensive deal on Iran's nuclear energy program, which should lead to the withdrawal of sanctions.

    Iran hopes that after this happens its oil exports would return to the pre-sanctions level of 2.5 million barrels a day.

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    Oil, crude exports, Iran's nuclear program, nuclear talks, sanctions, Iran
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