DUBAI, July 22 (Reuters) – Iran has opened its first oil terminal in the Gulf of Oman, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday to allow Tehran to avoid using the Strait sea route. Hormuz, which has been at the center of regional tensions for decades.
“This is a strategic decision and an important step for Iran. It will ensure the continuation of our oil exports,” Rouhani said in a televised speech.
“Today, the first shipment of 100 tonnes of oil is loaded outside the Strait of Hormuz. It shows the failure of US sanctions.”
Rouhani said Iran aims to export 1 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil from Bandar-e Jask, a port on Iran’s Gulf of Oman coast just south of the Strait of Hormuz.
Iran has often threatened to block the strait if its crude exports were halted by US sanctions, reimposed by Washington three years ago when President Donald Trump abandoned Tehran’s nuclear deal with six major powers.
Tehran and the administration of US President Joe Biden have been in indirect talks in Vienna since early April to revive the deal, under which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of most international sanctions.
The Strait is a narrow channel at the mouth of the Gulf through which about a fifth of the world’s oil passes from producers in the Middle East to markets in Asia, Europe, North America and beyond.
There have been periodic clashes between elite Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the US military in the region.
Writing by Parisa Hafezi; edited by Barbara Lewis
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