Iran president warns of 'war situation' as sanctions resume

Iranians shop in Tehran

"We have the toughest sanctions ever imposed".

"It is our duty to keep some of the worries to ourselves", IRNA quoted Jahangiri as saying.

The original aim of the sanctions was to cut Iran's oil exports as much as possible, to quash its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, and curb its support for militant proxies, particularly in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.

Trump, facing crucial midterm elections that may cost Republicans control of the U.S. Congress, said on Monday he wants to impose sanctions on Iran's oil gradually, citing concerns about shocking markets and causing global price spikes.

When asked about his decision to give temporary exemptions to eight economies from the ban on Iranian oil imports, Trump said, "I'm not looking to be a great hero and bring it down to zero immediately".

Output from these three countries in October exceeded 33 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first time, meaning they alone meet more than a third of the world's nearly 100 million bpd of crude oil consumption.

This group of eight buyers imported over 80% of Iran's roughly 2.6 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil exports past year, Refiniv Eikon data shows.

"America wanted to cut to zero Iran's oil sales ... but we will continue to sell our oil ... to break sanctions", Rouhani told economists at a meeting broadcast live on state television.

The U.S. restored sanctions on Iran's oil industry this week that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear accord, which President Donald Trump withdrew from in May.

The country has lost around $2 billion in oil revenue and lost tens of billions of dollars in investment since May, when the United States pulled out of the nuclear agreement, the US special envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, told a conference call.

Joint output from the world's top producers-Russia, the United States, and Saudi Arabia-in October rose above 33 million bpd for the first time, up 10 million bpd since 2010.

House Democratic Whip Steny H Hoyer said, "Rather than achieving its stated goal of eliminating Iran's oil exports altogether, the administration has issued "exemptions" for major Iranian oil importers, allowing Iran to earn billions of dollars from oil sale".

The minister, Bijan Zanganeh, said in his letter to OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo that some members of the committee "openly take side with the United States in imposing unilateral and illegal sanctions against Iran".

International Brent crude oil futures were down 21 cents, or 0.3 per cent, at $72.96 a barrel.

Industry estimates suggest Iran's oil exports have fallen 40 to 60 percent since Trump said in May he would reimpose sanctions. The session low was $61.31 a barrel, the weakest since March 16.

Now it will be key to watch "what happens after the exemptions expire in 180 days", the merchant trader said.

Japan says it is pleased to be temporarily spared from penalties as the US resumes sanctions on Iran.

Iran's exports peaked at 2.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in April, including 300,000 bpd of condensate, a lighter form of oil that when underground tends to exist as gas.

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