Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Sunday that he
was very hopeful of an improvement in the country's crude exports, state TV
reported, in spite of tightened US sanctions on Tehran's main source of
"I am very hopeful that our oil exports will improve," Zanganeh told state TV, adding that the price of oil was not Iran's main concern.
"What matters now for Iran is the amount of oil that we can export," Zanganeh said.
Industry sources told Reuters last month that Iranian crude exports had dropped in June to 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) or less after Washington tightened sanctions on the country's oil exports in May. In April 2018, exports stood at more than 2.5 million bpd.
Zanganeh blamed Iran's longtime foe the United States for destabilizing the oil market.
"Destabilizing the market is in America's interest... cooperation between the members of (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) OPEC and non-OPEC oil producer states will stabilize the market," he said.
Iran faces further US sanctions after announcing on Sunday it would shortly boost its uranium enrichment above a cap set by a landmark 2015 nuclear deal.
Under the nuclear deal, most international sanctions against Tehran were lifted in return for limitations on its nuclear work; however, Trump withdrew from the deal and reimposed sanctions.
Washington tightened sanctions from the start of May, ordering all countries and companies to halt all imports of Iranian oil or be banished from the global financial system. It has also dispatched extra troops to the region to counter what it describes as Iranian threats.
Iran's main demand - in talks with the European parties to the deal and as a precondition to any talks with the United States - is to be allowed to sell its oil at the levels before Washington pulled out.