12:57 GMT +321 August 2018
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    US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R) attend the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 21, 2017.

    'Taken Hostage': Trump Duped by Saudis on Iran Oil Sanctions - Tehran Official

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    President Trump’s offer of “no preconditions” talks with Iran’s comes as a surprise break from months of escalating rhetoric in the wake of his walkout from the landmark Iran nuclear deal.

    US President Donald Trump has apparently been hoodwinked by Saudi Arabia into believing that the kingdom will be able to make up for a projected drop in Iranian oil exports after the US sanctions take effect in November, Iran’s Press TV reported citing the head of the country’s OPEC governor.

    "It seems President Trump has been taken hostage by Saudi Arabia and a few producers when they claimed they can replace 2.5 million barrels per day of Iranian exports, encouraging him to take action against Iran," Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said.

    US Back and Forth on Iran Oil Trade

    The White House said last month that Saudi Arabia’s King Salman had promised Trump to raise oil production and that the kingdom had two million barrels per day of spare capacity to boost output to offset a decline Iranian oil supplies..

    Iran insists that President Trump’s hope that certain oil producers can fill the gap created as a result of cutting off Iranian oil supplies is based on a “miscalculation.”

    Late last month, a senior US State Department official said that countries buying Iranian oil should bring their Iranian crude imports down to zero by the time Washington re-imposes sanctions against the Islamic Republic’s banking and petroleum sectors.

    Washington later backed off a bit with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying in July that the United States might grant waivers to countries seeking relief from sanctions the US has threatened to impose.

    Trump’s U-Turn on Iran

    On Monday, President Trump said he would be willing to meet his Iranian counterpart, Hassan  Rouhani without preconditions to discuss how to improve ties, but Tehran flatly turned down Trump’s offer dismissing it as worthless and "a humiliation" after he acted to re-impose sanctions on Tehran following the withdrawal from the 2015 landmark nuclear deal.

    “Sanctions and pressures are the exact opposite of dialogue,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Tuesday.

    Trump’s overture towards Iran came a week after he threatened the country with “consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before,” in an all caps tweet.

    On May 8, President Donald Trump said he was withdrawing the US from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran and promised to impose the “highest level” of sanctions on the country’s energy, petrochemical and financial sectors despite objections from Europe as well as Russia and China — the other parties to the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

    READ MORE: US Must ‘Show it is Trustworthy' Before Iran Will Negotiate New Deal — Scholar

    Related:

    'Addicted to Sanctions': Iran Will Not Bow to US Pressure – Foreign Minister
    Iran Seeking to Boost Domestic Investment Ahead of US Sanctions
    'US Sanctions on Iran Will Not Have Any Impact & Will Fail' - Oil Economist
    Tags:
    overture, US-Saudi deal, "duped", Iran oil sanctions, OPEC, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, Mike Pompeo, King Salman, Donald Trump, Iran
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