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Iran oil exports hit six-year high as West considers tougher sanctions

Iran

Iran is exporting more oil than at any time in the past six years, giving its economy a $US35 billion a year boost, even as Western countries discuss stepping up sanctions in response to its attack on Israel, Financial Review reports.

Tehran sold an average of 1.56 million barrels a day during the first three months of the year, almost all of it to China, and its highest level since the third quarter of 2018, according to data company Vortexa.

According to the report, Iran’s success in exporting its crude underscores the difficulties facing the US and the EU as they seek to build up pressure on Tehran following its missile and drone attack on Israel last weekend.

Washington and the EU are preparing new sanctions on the Islamic Republic, in part to dissuade Israel from escalating the conflict with Tehran by retaliating. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said this week that Iran “clearly” continued to export its oil and there was “more to do” to curb the trade, the report adds.

Israeli forces shot down the barrage of about 300 missiles and drones launched by Iran at the weekend, but the attack has intensified fears that the region is sliding towards a broader conflict, as Israel weighs how to respond.

Iran launched the attack in retaliation for a suspected Israeli strike on its Damascus consulate that killed several senior Iranian commanders.

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