Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday called the end of oil sanction waivers by the United States a “hostile measure” that “won’t be left without a response“.
“U.S. efforts to boycott the sale of Iran’s oil won’t get them anywhere. We will export our oil as much as we need and we intend,” his official English-language Twitter account said, quoting from a speech he delivered to workers in Tehran.
The United States announced on Monday it would halt the practice of exempting countries including India, China and Turkey from sanctions on purchase of Iranian oil.
In May last year, U.S .President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal with world powers, which had given the Islamic republic sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme.
Washington reimposed oil sanctions on Iran in November, but initially gave eight countries, including several U.S. allies, six-month reprieves.
Five of the countries – Greece, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan – have already heavily reduced their purchases from Iran.
Iran has said the sanctions are “illegal”.
“They (the U.S.) wishfully think they have blocked Iran oil sales, but our vigorous nation and vigilant officials, if they work hard, will open many blockades,” Mr. Khamenei said.
Mr. Khamenei repeated his stance that Iran should move towards the sale of oil derivatives such as refined oil and petrochemical products instead of crude.