(Persia Digest) - Despite biting US sanctions and pressure on other countries, Tehran has found partners to buy its oil, and the number of such clients has actually increased, according to Iran’s deputy oil minister.

RT reports that after the US pulled out of the landmark nuclear deal and re-imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic, several nations were temporarily allowed to buy its oil, including India, South Korea and China. However, even those clients are under “financial pressure” from Washington, and are therefore very cautious about dealing with Tehran, one of the top Iranian oil officials, Amir Hossein Zamaninia, revealed.

“China, India, South Korea and all other countries, which the US granted waivers to buy oil from Iran, would not even buy an additional one barrel of oil from Iran,” he was quoted as saying by the Oil Ministry’s Shana news agency on Saturday.

While there is little hope that the 180-day US waivers for those countries will be extended after they expire in May, Tehran says it has found new ways to support its oil market.

“Regardless of US pressure, the number of potential buyers of Iran’s oil has increased due to the competitive nature of the market and growing cupidity for more profitability,” Zamaninia stated without revealing the identity of those buyers.

In 2018, US President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), citing its supposed flaws. The historic document was signed in 2015 between Iran and the UK, the US, France, Germany, Russia, China, and the EU. All other parties condemned the US withdrawal.

Washington not only resumed anti-Iranian penalties that were in force before the agreement, but pushed its allies to reduce imports of Iranian oil “to zero,” threatening to introduce punitive measures against all states that violated the embargo.

Meanwhile, Brussels has been trying to maintain the deal without Washington. The EU is also working to create a so-called special purpose vehicle (SPV) to facilitate financial transactions between the bloc and Iran to bypass US sanctions. In December, the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, announced that the system will be ready in the near future.

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