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Iran Boosts Cheap Oil Sale to China Despite Sanctions

A general view of part of Tehran's oil refinery south of the capital Tehran, Iran, Dec. 22, 2014. AP
A general view of part of Tehran’s oil refinery south of the capital Tehran, Iran, Dec. 22, 2014. AP

Facing crippling economic sanctions, inflation and widespread social unrest, the Iranian government has boosted oil sales to China at a highly discounted price.

Iran does not publish statistics about its oil sales, but analysts say Tehran has increased oil exports to more than 1.2 million barrels per day over the past three months. Iranian oil reaches the Chinese market through a camouflaged system of delivery that the Iranian regime has perfected over the past several decades of Western sanctions.

“[The] Iranian regime is now very experienced in bypassing sanctions that it is also doing it for Venezuela or even Russia,” Mahdi Ghodsi, an economist at the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, told VOA.

Iran is among the five largest crude oil producers in the world and can produce more than 3.5 million barrels of oil per day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Iran’s oil production reportedly hit a 30-year low in 2020 because of intensified U.S. sanctions as well as the economic impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

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