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France wants Iran, Venezuela to return to global oil market

June 28, 2022 at 2:14 pm

Cars and motorbikes queue to fill up at a service station in Iran’s capital Tehran on 26 October 2021 [ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images]

The international community should explore all options to alleviate the squeeze of energy supplies that has spiked prices, including talks with producing nations like Iran and Venezuela, a French presidency official said yesterday, Reuters reported.

Venezuela has been under US oil sanctions since 2019, and could reroute crude if those restrictions were lifted.

Meanwhile, indirect talks between Iran and the United States to revive the 2015 nuclear deal that could see sanctions on Tehran lifted and its oil exports resume have been on hold since March, but are due to resume in Doha soon.

“There are resources elsewhere that need to be explored,” a French official said on the sidelines of a G7 summit in Germany, when asked about how to alleviate high oil prices.

The outstanding issue between Iran and the United States was no longer linked to the nuclear dossier but to US terrorism sanctions, he said.

“So there is a knot that needs to be untied if applicable… to get Iranian oil back on the market,” the official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We have Venezuelan oil that also needs to come back to the market.”

READ: US sanctions China, UAE companies for links to Iran 

The official called for a temporary increase in production from oil-producing nations, and said there would be an effort to try and convince them to do so.

The United States, Canada and Britain have seen petrol costs increase sharply in recent months after they banned imports of Russian oil as a result of Moscow’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine. European Union leaders have agreed on a ban that will take full effect by the end of 2022 as part of sanctions imposed on the Kremlin.

However, Western countries fear that such sanctions will not affect the Russian war machine, with Russia achieving greater gains from exports in spite of the reduction in quantity.