A senior US Republican senator has confirmed the rise in Iran’s oil revenues in recent months, confessing to the ineffectiveness of the sanctions that have been unilaterally imposed on the country.
Lindsey Graham slammed the US administration for failing to stop Iran’s oil exports while addressing a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on the US-China relationship on Tuesday.
“Iranians are making more money under sanctions not less and China is the biggest reason we're not doing a damn thing about it,” he said, according to a video published on his YouTube account.
The remarks come as Washington imposed harsh economic sanctions against Tehran after unilaterally withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in May 2018.
Turning to US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Graham repeated anti-Iranian accusations before asking, “They're sanctioned to the hilt right? Do you realize that Iran's oil revenue went up 20 last month?”
“Yeah, it's gone up 20 every month. Why? because of China,” added Graham after Raimondo also confirmed the fact.
He described the US policy towards China as a “bunch of crap,” noting, “We're in a real world of hurt.”
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), Iran exported 2.65 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil to the markets in February, up 0.76% from export figures reported in January.
Oil exports from Iran in late 2022 reached levels unseen since US sanctions began almost five years ago, according to international tanker tracking services' figures in January.
The figures indicated that Iran had exported more than 1.2 million barrels of oil per day in the last months of 2022 and revealed that Iranian crude shipments had increased in early 2023 with more exports to China and Venezuela.
Despite US sanctions that prohibit any purchases of Iran's oil shipments, Iran has managed to sell more oil to private buyers in China and other markets lately.
Experts believe Iran's rising oil exports show that the US government has failed in its attempt to destroy the Iranian oil industry with its illegal and unprecedented sanctions regime.
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