Iran opens first oil terminal in Gulf of Oman to bypass Strait of Hormuz pressure points

Iran continues to be under US sanctions and will be trying to reach some understanding with the Biden administration. File picture of an offshore oil platform near Lavan island, operated by the National Iranian Offshore Oil Co..
Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: Iran has opened its first oil terminal in the Gulf of Oman, President Hassan Rouhani said, to allow Iranian tankers to avoid using the strategically vulnerable Strait of Hormuz, which has been a focus of regional tension for decades.

“This is a strategic move and an important step for Iran – It will secure the continuation of our oil exports,” Rouhani said in a televised speech. “This new crude export terminal shows the failure of Washington’s sanctions on Iran.” Iran aimed to export 1 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil from Bandar-e Jask, a port on Iran’s Gulf of Oman coast, just south of the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran has often threatened to block the Strait if its crude exports were shutdown by US sanctions, reimposed by Washington three years ago when then president Donald Trump abandoned Tehran’s nuclear deal with six major powers. Tehran and US President Joe Biden’s administration have been in indirect talks in Vienna since early April to revive the deal, under which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of most international sanctions.

“The implementation of the Goreh-Jask port crude oil transfer project took place with about $2 billion investment,” Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said. The Strait is a narrow channel at the mouth of the Gulf through which about a fifth of the world’s oil passes from Middle East producers to markets in Asia, Europe, North America and beyond.

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