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France pushes for return of Iranian oil to markets

US President Joe Biden (C) and French President Emmanuel Macron (R) attend the G7 summit at Elmau Castle, southern Germany, on June 27, 2022. (AFP photo)

French authorities are advocating a return of Iranian oil to the international markets amid a squeeze on Russian supplies that has been caused by the war in Ukraine.

A Reuters report on Monday cited remarks by a French presidency official showing that Paris wants crude oil from sanction-hit Iran and Venezuela to return to the oil markets to help dampen prices that have spiked in recent weeks because of the Western sanctions on Russia.

Other reports cited similar remarks made by the French official on the sidelines of a meeting of the G7 group of advanced economies in Germany.

The official said there is an urgent need for resolving the current impasse in efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal so that US sanctions on Iran can be lifted and Iranian oil returns to the markets.

 “It’s not about nuclear power, it’s about the US-Iran relationship on a particular issue ... there is a knot that needs to be untied if necessary so that Iranian oil can return to the markets,” said the official.

The remarks come as Iran, the US and other parties to the Iran nuclear deal are preparing for a restart of talks to revive the deal in the Qatari capital Doha.

Talks stopped in Austria in March after Iran and the US showed signs of disagreement on a series of issues, including US sanctions on Iran’s elite military force the IRGC.

Analysts expect Iran to increase its supply of oil to the global markets by at least 1 million barrels per day (bpd) immediately after the removal of the American sanctions.

Unconfirmed reports suggest Iran is currently exporting more than 1.5 million bpd of oil.   

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