Iranian said it was preparing to increase oil production even as talks with world powers about how to lift sanctions on Iran's crude exports have failed to clinch an agreement so far.
Parties to the 2015 nuclear deal, led by the European Union, are attempting to restore full agreement that all but fell after then-President Donald Trump withdrew three years ago. The negotiations in Vienna aim to reduce U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic's economy and scale back a significant expansion of its atomic activities.
The Chief of Staff of President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran, Mahmoud Vaezi, said that while there had been 'great progress' on some economic issues, the fate of oil sanctions had not yet been resolved according to the semi-official Iranian Students' News Agency.
The comments and an industry report showing another fall in U.S. crude inventories saw crude build its gains.
The official Shana oil company, however, has laid out plans to revive oil production in the event that U.S. sanctions are lifted, starting with an output hike of 3.3 million barrels a day within a month of the penalties being lifted, the national news agency IRAL reported.
In a gesture to Iran's leaders, Washington's top diplomat to the International Atomic Energy Agency acknowledged late Tuesday that trust needs to be rebuilt after the damage caused by Trump's policies, and appealed to Iran to accept a'mutual return' to the Agreement.
U.S. Extends Olive Branch to Iran before atomic talks.
On Wednesday, the lead negotiator of the negotiations with Iran, Abbas Araghchi, said that diplomats are set to reconvene in the Austrian capital at some point on Saturday without giving further details.
'The negotiations are at a point where some key issues still remain unveiled and decisions must be made about these, said Araghchi after briefing lawmakers in Tehran.
The talks coincide with President Hassan Rouhani's fast-approaching presidential election on June 18, which is widely expected to replace Iranian president George W. Bush with a hardliner who's been very critical of the nuclear deal.
Oil markets are closely watching the talks as a change of the sanctions could trigger a flood of Iranian oil onto markets as the OPEC founder-member seeks to reclaim the market share they had before the Trump era.
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