Trump says he wants to slow sanctions on Iranian oil

US President Donald Trump leaves the presidential limousine before leaving Washington for a field trip to the Andrews Common Base in Maryland, United States, November 5, 2018. REUTERS / Carlos Barria

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, MD (Reuters) – US President Donald Trump said Monday that he wanted to impose sanctions on Iran's oil, citing concerns about the possibility of upset energy markets and provoking a surge in world prices.

"With oil, it's very interesting. We have the toughest sanctions ever imposed, but for oil, we want to slow down a bit, because I do not want to drive up oil prices around the world, "he told reporters before he surrendered at a campaign event. "It has nothing to do with Iran … I could bring Iranian oil back to zero immediately, but it would be a shock to the market." I do not want to drive up oil prices. "

The United States on Monday reinstated sanctions targeting the oil, banking and transportation sectors in Iran and threatened to take further action as part of a wider effort to curb Iran's missile and nuclear programs. Tehran and reduce the influence of the Islamic Republic in the Middle East, including its support to proxies in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon. Trump's actions target Iran's main source of revenue, oil exports and financial sector.

"If you notice, oil prices are dropping considerably, even though half of their capacity is already depleted," Trump said, adding that "the imposition of sanctions on oil will be gradual".

On Monday, Brent crude futures contracts rose by nearly 0.8% to 73.41 dollars a barrel and US futures contracts by 0.4% to 63.41 dollars. [O/R]

(The story corrects paragraph 4 by saying oil sanctions, oil tariffs.)

Roberta Rampton's report; Written by Lisa Lambert; Edited by James Dalgleish and Dan Grebler

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