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Iranian crude and condensate exports plunged close to 300,000 b/d in March. This follows strong gains in January and February on the back of the November 23 interim nuclear deal.
Imports of Iranian crude rose by 420,000 b/d between December – too soon for buyers to react to the thaw in relations – and February, when they hit 1.5mn b/d, the highest level in a year. January exports also topped 1.4mn b/d, import statistics indicate. These volumes are considerably higher than those permitted by the West, under the terms of the interim nuclear deal signed with Iran late last year.
Following months of high-powered talks between Iran and officials from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany – otherwise known as the P5+1 – the two sides struck a six-month agreement under which US and European banks would gradually release $4.2bn of Iran’s frozen past oil export revenues – currently held in escrow accounts – in return for a halting of the most sensitive aspects of Tehran’s disputed nuclear program. (CONTINUED - 1089 WORDS)