Iran says Saudi Arabia cannot ban its oil tankers from travelling in international waters – a move that experts believe Riyadh has devised to slow down Iran’s oil exports through a political context.
“What specific power does Saudi Arabia have to ban Iran’s tankers?” the media have quoted Bijan Zangeneh, Iran’s oil minister, as telling reporters on Saturday.
Zangeneh made the remark in response to a question regarding reports that Saudi Arabia has reportedly banned Iranian oil tankers from entering its waters.
The Financial Times reported last Monday that Iranian ships are restricted from entering Saudi ports, and Bahrain, a Saudi ally, has issued similar restrictions. Also, Iran has been unable to access some oil in storage at a facility in Egypt, which is partially owned by Saudi Arabia, the FT added.
Nevertheless, the Saudi move is already viewed by experts as fruitless as tankers. Parviz Mina, a former member of OPEC Long-Term Strategy Committee, told Trend on this past Wednesday that tankers, which load oil from Iran's Kharg and Lavan – the main two Iranian oil terminals, do not need to enter the Saudi territorial waters to sail to other countries.
Mina also emphasized that Saudi territorial waters are hardly a major factor in Persian Gulf shipping lines.
He further said a problem may occur only if a tanker loads oil from both Iran and Saudi Arabia, which is mostly unlikely.
"Very rarely a tanker would load two types of crude oil," Mina told Trend.
"So, this will not impose any negative effect on Iran's crude export and should be considered as a new rhetoric between the two rival countries," he said.