Tehran’s oil exports have been limited since former US President Donald Trump in 2018 exited a 2015 nuclear accord and reimposed sanctions aimed at curbing oil exports and the associated revenue to Iran’s government, Reuters has reported.
Iran has kept some exports flowing despite sanctions as intermediaries find ways to disguise the origin of the imports. Tanker tracking companies say China is the destination of most of those shipments.
President Joe Biden’s administration has discussed the imports with China but has not imposed sanctions on Chinese individuals and companies. Beijing has urged the United States to lift the sanctions on Iran, which China opposes.
Reuters added that if the Vienna talks are successful in removing the sanctions, Iran could restart open oil sales.
Iran managed to increase exports in 2021 despite the sanctions, according to estimates from oil industry consultants and analysts.