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Iran dismisses U.S. efforts to ban Iranian oil as "futile"

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The U.S. efforts to ban Iran's oil exports will be futile as it is not an easy task to block the country's crude from the global market, an Iranian oil official said Wednesday.

Although some European companies, such as Shell and Total, have stopped buying Iranian oil over the past few weeks, Iran is still exporting oil to Europe, Asia and elsewhere in the world, Tasnim news agency cited the unnamed Petroleum Ministry official as saying.

A day earlier, a senior U.S. State Department official told reporters that the United States has been pushing its allies to stop oil imports from Iran by Nov. 4.

"This big claim (of cutting Iran oil supply) is not feasible. Last month, Iran exported 2.8 million barrels of crude oil and condensate per day," the Iranian official said.

"Removing this from the global market in a few months is not possible," the Iranian official said.

However, "Iran is prepared for the worst-case scenarios" in case the U.S. pressures take effect, he noted.

Meanwhile, "there is no surplus capacity for countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to supply oil for a long term," the official pointed out.

Following U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to quit the historic Iran nuclear pact on May 8, Washington vowed to re-impose sanctions against Iran and inflict punishments including secondary sanctions on countries that have business links with the Islamic republic.

Firms doing business in Iran were given up to 180 days to terminate investments, before they risk huge fines.

The U.S. withdrawal from the landmark nuclear deal has been widely criticized, as some of its major European allies have been working to prevent the 2015 deal from falling apart.

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