NSA Bolton: US can apply more sanctions to Iran until they 'squeak'

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Crude oil trade is state-controlled in Iran.

Saudi Arabia has announced a major cut in oil production to rebalance global markets and prop up plunging oil prices, citing US sanctions waivers that are enabling Iran to keep exporting oil to most of its top customers.

Iran has continued to implement the main nuclear restrictions set by its 2015 deal with major powers, a quarterly United Nations watchdog report shows, though several items were verified shortly before reimposed US sanctions took effect.

"Nothing that indicates that. cooperation from Iran or its attitude has changed since 5 November", read the report.

US National Security Advisor John Bolton vowed Tuesday to "squeeze" Iran "until the pips squeak", a week after a tough new round of sanctions came into force. Earlier, private refining companies could only buy crude oil for exports of oil products.

The reason this report is particularly important this month is that it comes just a week after the U.S., who withdrew from the deal six months ago, imposed all the nuclear sanctions eased by the deal back on Iran. The set price for this round of oil sales was $71.59 per barrel.

Falih responded that Saudi Arabia has been giving Washington and other customers "100 percent of what they asked for".

The only support for the USA position has come from Iran's regional rivals, notably Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Falih said OPEC officials have seen analyses suggesting a production cut of as much as 1 million barrels a day may be needed to rebalance the market and prop up prices.

It is very likely that the Middle East region will face a critical crisis in the next two years due to the time of approaching US Presidential Election, he said, adding, "therefore, those countries which are seeking stability in the region need to be vigilant".

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