Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has told SHANA news agency that the country is utilising unofficial channels to sell its oil, as the country's energy sector was slapped with US sanctions in November 2018. The minister declined to specify how exactly the country is going through with the sales, citing the need to keep the method secret from Washington.
“We have unofficial or unconventional sales, all of which are secret, because if they are made known America would immediately stop them", he said.
The minister also commented on previous statements made by his deputy, who said that Tehran is selling its oil on what he called a "grey market". Zanganeh explained that the method Iran uses is somewhere between the transparent "white market" and the illegal "black market", which is akin to smuggling.
The US has recently intensified its efforts to bring the Iranian oil exports to "zero" having ended the sanctions waivers for eight states that were issued in November 2018 when the restrictions were imposed and introduced new sanctions against Iran's Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (PGPIC).
Tehran responded to this by calling the sanctions against it a “defeated policy”, noting that it had proved it ineffectiveness when carried out by previous administrations.
Washington imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic following its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal – an accord that lifted international sanctions from the country in 2015 in exchange for limitations on its nuclear programme. US President Donald Trump argued that the deal was "flawed" and has demanded that a new and "better" agreement be reached.
Tehran has refused to hold negotiations with Washington unless it lifts its economic sanctions, vowing not to bow under pressure.