Pompeo talks tough on Iran while visiting Emirates

Iranian First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri

While most of the lead-up to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit this week in Brussels has centered around President Trump pushing military spending, and potentially being less hostile toward Russian Federation than the other nations prefer, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has arrived in Brussels with a mission focused heavily on Iran.

That push has driven up oil prices amid concerns that a divestment from Iranian oil would reduce the world's overall supply.

State Department officials were joined by Treasury Department officials and spent three days in Saudi Arabia to discuss ways to economically isolate Iran, and at the same time, keep oil markets well-supplied, the official noted. The country supplied 18.4 million tonnes of crude oil between April 2017 and January 2018, but latest figures showed India's oil imports had declined by 15.9% in June, the first month after the USA said it would reimpose sanctions, Reuters reported citing data from shipping and industry sources.

Separately, the USA is seeking to ensure anti-Iran pressure from its allies on the Persian Gulf's coasts. If the argument is for unity on the Iran issue, those nations may point out they've already reached a consensus weeks ago, and it was on preserving the deal, with or without the US.

The Chabahar port is considered a gateway to golden opportunities for trade by India, Iran, and Afghanistan with central Asian countries in the wake of Pakistan denying transit access to New Delhi.

India, Iran's top oil client after China, has asked refiners to look for alternative oil supplies as the nation may have to drastically cut imports from Tehran to comply with the renewed U.S. sanctions.

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Before heading to Brussles, Pompeo, himself, was in Abu Dhabi, where he likewise tried to rally more support against Tehran.

On Friday, the remaining partners in the 2015 nuclear deal vowed to keep Iran plugged into the global economy despite the USA withdrawal and sanctions threat.

Back in May, the U.S. pulled out of a multilateral nuclear agreement with Iran, and said it would be reinstating its sanctions against Tehran.

The other signatories to the accord, which include Russia, China, the UK, France and Germany, however, have strongly objected to the US's withdrawal, and vowed to try to preserve the deal.

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini (L); Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif (C) and political deputy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran Abbas Araghchi take part in a Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) ministerial meeting on the Iran nuclear deal on July 6, 2018 in Vienna, Austria.

India's monthly oil imports from Iran declined to 592,800 barrels per day (bpd) in June, down 16 percent from May, according to data from industry and shipping sources.

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