Rouhani says U.S. pressure to stop Iranian oil may affect regional exports

France’s President Emmanuel Macron left meets his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani in New York

India is second only to China when it comes to oil import from Iran, and in February 2018, after President Rouhani's meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi, India had committed to increase that intake by 25% this year.

MP Assadollah Qarehkhani was quoted by media as saying that a special committee had been formed in the Parliament that would deal with bartering oil with goods, adding that this was meant to help Iran overcome the impacts of upcoming USA sanctions.

"We should send a message to Washington showing how much the position of countries participating in the deal differs from the stance of (US President) Donald Trump", he said. Rouhani has said Iran will stay in the accord if its interests are preserved.

Rouhani was on Wednesday due in Vienna, where the 2015 nuclear deal was signed, to meet Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and President Alexander Van der Bellen.

"Iran will survive this round of U.S. sanctions as it has survived them before", he said, describing U.S. sanctions as a "crime and aggression". "The United States will never be able to cut Iran's oil revenues".

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New US sanctions against Tehran will encompass businesses from third countries that continue to operate in Iran.

Switzerland - where significant parts of the pact known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action were negotiated - will work to ensure that future United States sanctions do not target any humanitarian goods, Bern said in a statement.

The top diplomats of Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation will join Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in the Austrian capital, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported, for their first talks together on the deal since Washington pulled out earlier this year.

Iran had struck the JCPoA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) deal with the United States, the UK, Russia, China, France and Germany after years of negotiations.

"We will have to see if it is going to be good enough for the Iranians", the source added.

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"Iran will survive this round of U.S. sanctions as it has survived before".

The EU's foreign service, the EEAS, was not immediately available for comment on the meeting.

The sources said there was no doubt that the U.S. was going to put pressure on India and other countries which import oil from Iran, noting, "the question is what do we see as a national interest and how do we explain our case to the US". But European officials acknowledge that US sanctions make it hard to give Tehran guarantees.

When asked at a news conference in Bern later on Tuesday whether those comments constituted a threat to interfere with the shipping of neighbouring countries, Rouhani said, "Assuming that Iran could become the only oil producer unable to export its oil is a wrong assumption ..."

The White House said on Saturday that Saudi Arabia's King Salman had promised Trump that he can raise oil production if needed, and that Riyadh has 2 million barrels per day of spare capacity.

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