Iran protesters attack religious school as tensions mount

Daniel Fowler
August 5, 2018

But as the new Indian fiscal year began in April, refiners have been taking more Iranian oil imports compared to the previous fiscal year, as Iran offered incentives such as extended credit periods and nearly free shipping to keep its market share in India-Tehran's second-largest oil customer after China.

The U.S. has been unable to persuade China to cut Iranian oil imports, according to two officials familiar with the negotiations, reports Bloomberg.

US President Donald Trump announced in May Washington's withdrawal from a landmark multinational nuclear deal with Iran.

The U.S. has been pushing its allies to halt their import of Iranian oil ahead of the November deadline.

"At 9pm [15:30 GMT on Friday] they attacked the school and tried to break the doors down and burn things", the Fars News Agency quoted the head of the school in the town of Ishtehad, Hojatoleslam Hindiani, as saying.

It said this was part of a pre-planned plot by the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia to exploit economic tensions inside Iran.

The rhetoric between the US and Iran remains heated, despite Trump tweeting last week that he would be willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Trump made that much known in a Twitter post days ago during a joint White House news conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

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Fear over decreasing demand from China triggered a slow down on Friday, after the country's main oil producer Sinopec, trim down its purchase of United States crude. Worldwide sanctions were lifted under the pact between world powers and Tehran in return for curbs on Iran's nuclear program.

"We've said this before", said Pompeo, the former Central Intelligence Agency chief.

Rouhani has suggested Iran might block the Strait of Hormuz in response to a shutdown of its oil exports.

Increased US hostility has also driven a run on Iran's currency, which has lost around two-thirds of its value in six months.

Trump has ordered USA sanctions on Tehran, while a senior State Department official said Washington has told allies to cut imports of Iranian oil by November.

Another expert who foresees tightening was far more outspoken in his short-term forecast: Stephen Brennock, oil analyst at PVM Oil Associates, stated in a note on Friday that "Venezuela's ticking time bomb together with the return of Iran's oil industry to the sanctions era has all the makings for a major supply shock".

HPCL, for example, will not be buying oil from Iran in August, chairman M. K. Surana told Reuters earlier this week, but did not elaborate on whether the refiner would resume importing Iranian oil after that. "China will continue to cooperate with Iran adhering to its global obligations", she added. This accounted for 35 percent of Iranian exports last month, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.

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