Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : No Future US Government Can Prevent Iran Oil Exports, Minister Says 

A street mural of the Iranian flag in Tehran in October 2017. (AFP via Getty Images)
A street mural of the Iranian flag in Tehran in October 2017. (AFP via Getty Images)
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No Future US Government Can Prevent Iran Oil Exports, Minister Says 

A street mural of the Iranian flag in Tehran in October 2017. (AFP via Getty Images)
A street mural of the Iranian flag in Tehran in October 2017. (AFP via Getty Images)

Iranian oil exports will continue regardless of who is elected as the next US president, Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji said on Wednesday, amid concerns that a Donald Trump presidency could curb Iranian crude sales.

"Whatever government comes to power in the United States will not be able to prevent Iranian oil exports," Owji said in comments quoted by Iran's official news agency IRNA.

In 2018, then-President Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear pact with Iran and re-imposed sanctions which hurt Iran's oil sector, with production dropping to 2.1 million barrels per day (bpd).

US President Joe Biden took office in 2021 and since then Iran has managed to raise output to 3.5 million bpd while tripling exports, according to Owji.

Iran has expanded oil trade with China.

Iran will elect a new president on June 28 following the death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash in May.

The US presidential election is scheduled for November 5.



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : US, SKorea Sign Joint Nuclear Deterrence Guidelines in Face of NKorean Threats

South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol attends a session of the NATO summit with Indo-Pacific Partners Thursday July 11, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol attends a session of the NATO summit with Indo-Pacific Partners Thursday July 11, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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US, SKorea Sign Joint Nuclear Deterrence Guidelines in Face of NKorean Threats

South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol attends a session of the NATO summit with Indo-Pacific Partners Thursday July 11, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol attends a session of the NATO summit with Indo-Pacific Partners Thursday July 11, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The US and South Korea signed joint nuclear deterrence guidelines for the first time, a basic yet important step in their efforts to improve deterrence toward North Korea's evolving nuclear threats.

Meeting Thursday on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Washington, President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol commended what they called “the tremendous progress” that their countries’ alliance have made a year after creating a joint Nuclear Consultative Group.

The two leaders authorized “the US-ROK Guidelines for Nuclear Deterrence and Nuclear Operations on the Korean Peninsula” that was signed by their defense officials earlier Thursday, according to South Korea’s presidential office. ROK stands for the Republic of Korea, South Korea’s official name.

Last year, the US and South Korea launched the consultative body to strengthen communication on nuclear operations and discuss how to integrate US nuclear weapons and South Korean conventional weapons in various contingencies. The US has long promised to use all its capabilities, including nuclear weapons, to defend South Korea if it is attacked, but faced suspicions that it lacks plans on how it would exercise its extended deterrence for its Asian ally.

The consultative body was established as North Korea has sharply accelerated its missile testing activities and openly threatened to use nuclear weapons preemptively in potential conflicts, The Associated Press reported. South Korea has no nuclear weapons.

“The presidents underscored that the Guidelines document provides a solid foundation for enhancing US-ROK extended deterrence cooperation in an integrated manner," said a joint statement by Biden and Yoon.