Trump administration ramps up pressure on Iran's economy

"We will surely do something to thwart the U.S. rallying cry that Iranian oil (exports) must be stemmed", First Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri said in statements broadcast on state television.

WASHINGTON-The Trump administration will consider requests for waivers from economic sanctions against Iran on a "case-by-case" basis, a senior State Department official said Monday, a step back from threats to insist on zero imports by a November 4 deadline.

Iran's crude production was around 3.8 million barrels per day in May, according to OPEC's Oil Market Report for May. "Since Venezuela and Libya failed to produce, OPEC countries made a decision to increase their output by one million barrels to compensate", Sonatrach's CEO noted, adding: "This is why prices stand at the same level".

Oil prices rose on Friday on worries that USA sanctions against Iran would take away significant volumes of crude oil from world markets while oil demand worldwide increases.

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In particular, the administration points to a recent announcement by Saudi Arabia to increase oil production, with President Trump tweeting Saturday that the country's leader King Salman agreed to increase oil production by 2 million barrels.

Brian Hook, the State Department director of policy planning, said on Monday that he and the Treasury under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, Sigal Mandelker, would be leaving for the Gulf region "in the coming days", accompanied senior officials, to co-ordinate efforts on Iran.

"We're not granting waivers", the official said.

"The pace of decline at drawdowns of US inventories is startling", said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital Management in NY.

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Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia will face "dire consequences" if they increase their oil production, the head of the state energy firm said.

Rising gasoline prices could create a political headache for Trump ahead of the November elections by offsetting Republican claims that his tax cuts and rollbacks of federal regulations have helped boost the economy.

Jahangiri greeted Trump's comments with derision, saying: "They're begging the Saudis to raise their output so that if Iran's quota decreases nothing will happen to the markets".

Iran and Saudi Arabia broke off diplomatic relations in 2016 and are locked in several proxy wars in the Middle East, including in Yemen.

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Hook said that the first part of United States sanctions against Iran will snap back on August 6.

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