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Iran this week signed a preliminary crude oil sales agreement with South Africa that could see the African state resume imports of Iranian crude for the first time since early 2012, when US-led sanctions on the purchase of Iranian oil came into effect.
This comes as Iran looks to breathe new life into its energy sector following the signing of a landmark nuclear deal with the international community in mid-July, which could see sanctions on its key financial and energy sectors lifted by the start of next year.
Iran has put boosting the country’s oil exports – currently at around 1.2mn b/d – at the the top of its post-sanctions agenda, with Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh vowing to raise exports by around 1mn b/d within six months of sanctions being lifted: 500,000 b/d immediately after sanctions are lifted, and another 500,000 b/d in the months that follow.
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