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Twitter suspends Iran oil minister’s page amid US sanctions

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh (Photo by ISNA)

Twitter has suspended Iranian Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh’s page, acting on the United States’ sanctions targeting Iran’s oil industry, which the Islamic Republic says have proven futile in preventing its crude sales.

The action was taken by the American social networking company against Zanganeh’s page on Monday as per the sanctions that the US had imposed on a number of officials and entities affiliated with Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum on October 26.

Washington began targeting the Iranian oil business in 2018 after leaving a historic nuclear agreement between Tehran and others and returning the sanctions that the deal had lifted.

Back then, the White House alleged that it sought to reduce the Iranian oil exports to “zero,” and started to gradually rescind waivers that would enable Iran to sell oil overseas despite the coercive economic measures.

Despite taking an initial hit, the oil industry rallied fast, with the country succeeding to sell huge volumes of crude via “anonymous routes.”

In late September, Samir Madani, co-founder of the TankerTrackers group, told Reuters that the Islamic Republic was selling “close to 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in both crude and condensate so far this month.”

“These are levels we haven’t seen in a year and a half,” he added.

Zanganeh has himself asserted that the US bans had no practical effect and stemmed from Washington’s grudge toward Tehran.

Reacting to the raft of sanctions targeting him and his colleagues at the Petroleum Ministry, the minister called the measures a “passive reaction” by Washington to its own defeat in bringing down Iran’s oil exports to zero.

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