NEW YORK, December 18 -- Oil prices fell more than 4 per cent on Tuesday as planned production curbs by global producers.
Led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, producers failed to allay concerns about renewed oversupply stoked by swelling US shale output. Fears about weaker oil demand amid a potential slowdown in the global economy have also added to worries about how effective the supply cuts will be. The fall in oil prices comes amid a broader sell-off in the global equities market due to persistent worries centred on how the US-China trade spat could hit economic growth. Prices“Prices are continuing to nose-dive,” said Carsten Fritsch at Commerzbank. “The effect of the announced production cuts after Opec’s meeting [earlier this month] has evaporated entirely.”
International benchmark Brent crude fell $1.70 (€1.50) a barrel to $57.91 in mid-morning trading in London, having fallen as low as $57.20 – marking the third consecutive day of declines.
West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark, fell $1.51 a barrel to $48.37, the lowest level since September, 2017.
Global producers have agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels a day (b/d) to halt a more than 30 per cent slide in oil prices, since hitting $86 a barrel in October. The move came in defiance of US president Donald Trump who had called for the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) to keep output elevated and prices low. But record output from Saudi Arabia above 10 million b/d since July coincided with news that the US would issue waivers to buyers of Iranian oil – at the same time as imposing sanctions against Tehran’s economy – allowing more oil than anticipated on to the market.
Still, Iranian output and exports have fallen sharply this year and other producers such as Venezuela have seen a slide in their supplies because of turmoil in their countries. Production and exports from Libya’s largest oilfield, El Sharara, have also been halted due to security issues. Still, this has not been enough to help firm up oil prices as hoped by global producers, which largely rely on revenues from crude exports to support their economies. Data from the US energy department showed that the US has surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest oil producer, with overall crude production climbing to a weekly record of 11.7 million b/d.
This has fuelled doubts about the effectiveness of the supply curbs and raised questions among traders and analysts about how long Opec and its allies will be willing to trim its supplies to benefit US rivals. Market participants are also questioning how much Russia will pull back on its production, after also hitting a record level above 11.4 million b/d in December. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018
NEW YORK, July 23 -- Protesters have poured into New York's Times Square to denounce the Iran nuclear deal as a threat to Israel and global security, demanding that the US Congress reject the pact.
Speakers at Wednesday's rally, including Republican politicians, called on the US Congress to throw the deal out, whipping up the crowd on that included supporters of right-wing Jewish and evangelical Christian groups. The protest came as US Secretary of State and other senior officials briefed members of Congress about the deal behind closed doors.
Reports from Washington where the talks were held, said that some members of Congress came out from the discussions and told reporters that they were still very sceptical about the deal. In New York, Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, co-organiser of the Stop Iran Rally, claimed that there were 10,000 people in the crowd. Protesters held up US flags and placards denouncing the deal.
"We're here as Americans to speak with one voice to say stop Iran now, reject this deal," said George Pataki, the former three-term Republican governor of New York. "This is a God-awful deal, this must be rejected. Congress must do its job and stand up for the American people, stand up for our safety and say no to this Iranian deal," he said.
WASHINGTON, April 6 -- United States President Barack Obama has defended a framework nuclear understanding with Iran as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to prevent a nuclear bomb and bring longer-term security to the Middle East, insisting the US will stand in defense of Israel.
In an interview with The New York Times, published on Sunday night, Obama argues the risks of a deal are far outweighed by potential gains if it deters Iran's nuclear weapons aspirations, since the US is a far superior military power who can protect its core security interests.
He said the US will make sure the deal does not threaten Israel's own military advantage.
The notion that Iran is undeterrable is "simply not the case," Obama said.
"And so for us to say, 'Let's try' - understanding that we're preserving all our options, that we're not naive - but if in fact we can resolve these issues diplomatically, we are more likely to be safe, more likely to be secure, in a better position to protect our allies."
'Committed to Israel'
Obama added that he was "absolutely committed" to making sure Israel maintains "their qualitative military edge" and was willing to make clear that "if Israel were to be attacked by any state, that we would stand by them."
Obama expressed concern about how the talks have strained US-Israel relations, indicating how he takes it personally when he's accused of being anti-Israel.
"Part of what has always made the US-Israeli relationship so special is that it has transcended party, and I think that has to be preserved. There has to be the ability for me to disagree with a policy on settlements, for example, without being viewed as ... opposing Israel."
Obama's comments came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the US on Sunday to seek a better deal to curb Iran's nuclear programme and US Senate Republicans pressed their demand that the US Congress be allowed to vote on the agreement.
Netanyahu engages in US
Netanyahu has been strongly critical of the deal struck on Thursday in Switzerland, saying it threatens the survival of Israel. Netanyahu said he has spoken with both Democrats and Republicans in Congress - nearly two thirds of House of Representatives members and a similar number in the US Senate - about the Iran nuclear issue.
In appearances on US television on Sunday, Netanyahu did not repeat his assertion on Friday that any final agreement should include a commitment by Iran recognising Israel's right to exist.
But, speaking on CNN's "State of the Union" programme, he said of the deal, "This is not a partisan issue. This is not solely an Israeli issue. This is a world issue because everyone is going to be threatened by the pre-eminent terrorist state of our time, keeping the infrastructure to produce not one nuclear bomb but many, many nuclear bombs down the line."
TEHRAN, November 12 -- Russia has signed a contract to build two more nuclear reactors in Iran likely to be followed with another six, a move intended to cement closer ties between the two nations.
The deal comes less than two weeks ahead of the November 24 deadline for Tehran to sign an agreement on its nuclear program with six world powers.
Tuesday's contract has no immediate relation to the talks that involve Russia and the United States, but it reflects Moscow's intention to deepen its co-operation with Tehran ahead of possible softening of Western sanctions against Iran.
The nuclear officials from the two countries signed the contract for building two reactors at Iran's first Russia-built nuclear plant in Bushehr.
Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of Russia's Rosatom state corporation, and Iran's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi also signed a protocol envisaging possible construction of two more reactors in Bushehr and another four in an undetermined location.
"It's a turning point in the development of relations between our countries," Salehi said after the signing, according to Russian news reports.
Rosatom said in a statement that the construction of the new reactors will be monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
As in the case of Bushehr's first reactor that became operational in 2013, Russia will supply uranium fuel and then take it back for reprocessing - a provision intended to prevent a possibility of Iran using the spent fuel to build atomic weapons.
A potential agreement between Iran and the six powers would ease Western sanctions against Iran's economy if Tehran agrees to limit its uranium enrichment to a level that would make it unable to build nuclear weapons.
Iran has dismissed Western suspicions that it was working covertly to develop nuclear weapons, insisting that its nuclear activities are aimed at peaceful energy demands and medical needs.
TEHRAN, October 23 -- National carrier Iran Air receives parts, ending a 35-year break in business prohibited under decades of US sanctions.
Boeing has sold plane parts to Iran Air, the first time it has done business with the Tehran's national carrier since the 1979 hostage crisis, the US aviation firm reported. The sales generated $120,000 in revenue, Boeing said, ending a 35-year break in business between the two air companies prohibited under decades of US sanctions.
"During the third quarter of 2014, we sold aircraft manuals, drawings, and navigation charts and data to Iran Air," Boeing said in its quarterly report.
The sales earned Boeing $12,000 in gross profits, according to the report. In April, the US government issued a license allowing Boeing, for a "limited period of time," to provide "spare parts that are for safety purposes" to Iran.
Boeing is still not allowed to sell new planes to Iran. The license was granted by the US Treasury Department in the context of an interim deal between world powers and Iran over its nuclear programme signed in November.
Boeing said the parts were purchased "consistent with guidance from the US government in connection with ongoing negotiations." The US company said more parts could be sold to Iran Air in the future.
"We may engage in additional sales pursuant to this license," it added.
Iran Air's fleet includes Boeing airplanes acquired before the 1979 revolution. Other US companies have said they want to conduct business with Iran under the sanctions ease, including General Electric, which in February requested permission to sell spare airliner parts to Iran.
Washington severed diplomatic relations with Iran in the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic revolution.
The United States and European nations have imposed severe economic sanctions on Iran in recent years, aiming to pressure Tehran to dramatically reduce its nuclear programme for a lengthy period of time to keep it from developing nuclear weapons.
Iran has steadfastly insisted its nuclear programme is for civilian purposes.
NEW YORK, September 27 -- Tehran is determined to go ahead with cooperation with Moscow in the nuclear sphere, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said at a news conference in New York.
He said the Islamic republic expected implementation of all agreements in this sphere. Sanctions against Iran must be lifted. The sanctions imposed against Iran will not yield any results and all of them must be lifted, Hassan Rouhani told .
“Sanctions never prove a constructive instrument,” he said. “Any agreement must imply their full cancellation.”
Rouhani pointed out that sanctions would not force Teheran to drop its nuclear program.
“Iran will never abdicate its right to develop civilian nuclear power,” he said.
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