With just days to go before U.S. sanctions take effect on Iran's oil sector on November 5, Tehran’s top two customers – India and China -- are resisting Washington’s call to reduce purchases to zero, arguing there are not sufficient supplies worldwide to replace them, media are reporting.
Washington is reimposing the sanctions on Iran after having withdrawn from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. But China -- Tehran's biggest customer -- has publicly committed to honoring the deal and has said it will keep importing Iranian oil, despite Washington's threat to block Chinese companies from doing business in the U.S. market if they defy the sanctions.
While two of Iran's other big customers in Asia -- Japan and South Korea -- have already stopped purchasing Iranian oil, the prospect of continued sales to China and India, the two biggest customers, appears to have bolstered confidence in Tehran.
Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangir said on October 28 that he doesn't expect Iran's oil exports to fall below 1 million barrels a day, although that level of exports would still represent a large cut from the peak of 2.5 million a day reached in April before the United States announced it was reimposing sanctions.
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