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Wednesday, 16 March 2022

Is the Iran nuclear deal back on?

Russia says it got its guarantees, paving the way for an Iran nuclear agreement: Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he has received written guarantees that his country’s cooperation with Iran will not be impacted by ongoing Western negotiations to restore the 2015 Iran nuclear pact, Reuters reports. It is unclear if Russia has dropped its demand to protect trade with Tehran, but Lavrov’s comments signal that Moscow won't block the finalization of the long-awaited agreement — which could remove sanctions on the Islamic Republic and restore Iranian oil to the market.

With sanctions relief in sight, Iran is reviving efforts to export LNG: Iran’s National Oil Company has invited investors to submit proposals for the construction of mini liquefied natural gas units, Bloomberg reports. The announcement comes just as European buyers look to replace Russian gas flows in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine. Russia provided about 40% of the EU’s gas last year.

There’s pressure on GCC producers to step up oil production:

  • The UK wants the Gulf to pump more oil: UK PM Boris Johnson will travel to the UAE and Saudi Arabia this week to lobby them to step up oil production in light of the Ukraine conflict, which has triggered serious volatility in the oil markets, Bloomberg says.
  • Burn: Joe Biden has also tried to get the ears of the Gulf states, only for Riyadh and Abu Dhabi to refuse to take his calls.

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