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Iran issues oil warning as UAE says production can rise

Rouhani said Friday that talks with international powers on Tehran's nuclear program must move forward more quickly saying limited progres

Iran is OPEC's second-largest crude exporter with more than 2 million barrels a day and the global price of oil has always been a point of contention for U.S. President Donald Trump.

Given the importance of the Chinese market for Iranian oil, some experts figure that the United States may be banking on resolving trade tensions with Beijing by the time the November deadline hits.

He further said "today that there is a new pressure on the Iranian people and society, all Iranians should stand together and increase efforts for the greatness of Iran".

Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, is due to meet counterparts from Britain, France and Germany, as well as Russian Federation and China, in the Austrian capital to flesh out the guarantees that Iran seeks.

Iran threatened retaliation against regional oil producers in the event that its revenue from export sales collapses as a result of U.S. sanctions pressure.

India, Iran's second-biggest customer, struck a defiant tone last month after the Trump administration unilaterally pulled out of the Iran deal, saying it only respects United Nations sanctions, though it slightly reduced Iranian purchases this spring ahead of the USA decision to pull out of the pact.

Since President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw in May, calling the agreement deeply flawed, European states have been scrambling to ensure Iran gets enough economic benefits to persuade it to maintain the nuclear curbs required in the deal.

"I don't think the State Department would have the confidence to say "zero exports" if they didn't have China on board", said Sara Vakhshouri, a veteran of the Iranian state oil company now at SVB Energy International, an energy consultancy.

Five other suspects were detained in Belgium and France, authorities in the two countries have said.

An EU spokesperson said Brussels is in regular contact with Washington regarding the oil sanctions and stressed that "the EU remains fully committed to the nuclear deal and to the full and effective lifting of all nuclear-related sanctions on Iran".

When asked at a news conference in Bern later on Tuesday whether those comments constituted a threat to interfere with the shipping of neighboring countries, Rouhani said: "Assuming that Iran could become the only oil producer unable to export its oil is a wrong assumption".

In recent days, the State Department has wrestled with balancing its desire to squeeze Tehran with reassurances to the global oil market that prices will remain stable. The president stressed that no power in history has been able to make the Iranian nation give in to illogical demands.

Since the USA pulled out of the nuclear deal with Iran, known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Washington has been pushing allies to cut oil imports from the Islamic Republic altogether by November.

The oil company previously announced in November it had plans to expand its capacity to 3.5 million barrels of oil per day.

Trump subsequently expressed concern about oil prices last week, announcing in a tweet that he and King Salman of Saudi Arabia had agreed to raise daily oil production by 2 million barrels. The kingdom now produces some 10 million barrels of crude daily.