Iran's oil minister has said the United States will not succeed in its plans to halt Iranian crude exports even as he acknowledged that South Korea has stopped buying oil from Tehran, Iranian media reported on Monday.
The website of Iran's oil ministry, Shana.ir, quotes the minister, Bijan Zanganeh, as saying the "U.S. dream of getting Iran's oil exports (effectively) to zero won't come true."
Zanganeh said such a plan isn't possible long-term, though Washington seems determined to cut Iran's crude exports, "even if for just a month."
However, he did say that Seoul hasn't bought any Iranian crude "for three continuous months."
President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in May. Washington wants to reduce Iran's oil exports effectively to zero with renewed sanctions in November and has been encouraging its allies to cut their oil imports from Iran.
It's unclear, however, how much other countries will cut back on Iranian oil imports. Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, which also signed the nuclear deal, opposed the Trump administration's decision to withdraw from it. European countries are trying to salvage the landmark accord.
Zangeneh also welcomed the outcome of a meeting Sunday between OPEC members and the cartel's allies, which ended without any decision to further increase oil output despite Trump's call for lower prices.
Zangeneh says "no country gave a positive answer to Trump" and that this can be considered a "heavy defeat" for the U.S. president.