May 28, 2024 | Flash Brief

Interim Iranian President Brags About Oil Production

May 28, 2024 | Flash Brief

Interim Iranian President Brags About Oil Production

Latest Developments

Interim Iranian President Mohammed Mokhber highlighted Iran’s soaring crude oil production in a speech to the Iranian parliament on May 27. In his first public address since assuming the post following the death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a May 19 helicopter crash, Mokhber claimed that daily Iranian crude oil production had reached over 3.6 million barrels despite international sanctions on Tehran’s oil output.

Mokhber also claimed that Iran’s economy had been unaffected by its missile strike against Israel on the night of April 13, saying, “We hit Israel, people find that figures and indexes are the same in the morning when they wake up, the price of hard currency is the same, inflation is the same, liquidity is the same, and the market is full of people’s needs.”

On May 26, the Iranian state-affiliated media outlet Tasnim News Agency reported that Iran — one of the top five producers in the 12-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) — had approved a plan to increase domestic oil production to 4 million barrels a day from 3.6 million barrels a day, marking an increase of 11 percent.

Expert Analysis

“The data is clear: in its fourth year, the Biden administration’s enforcement of oil sanctions has significantly deteriorated. This substantial sanctions relief for the radical Islamist regime in Tehran is driven by domestic politics in the election year rather than U.S. national interests.” — Saeed Ghasseminejad, FDD Senior Iran and Financial Economics Advisor

“The Biden administration’s lack of sanctions enforcement has further emboldened the Islamic Republic in its efforts to suppress dissident voices domestically and expand its malign influence abroad. The growing economic and military ties between kleptocrats in Tehran and Beijing are essential to the regime’s funding of its terrorist apparatus and nuclear ambitions, and these malign actors will continue to exploit this appeasement policy so long as they do not fear the repercussions of evading U.S. sanctions.” — Janatan Sayeh, FDD Research Analyst

Iranian Crude Oil Exports Rising, Fueling Global Terror

Iranian oil exports continue to increase and pad Tehran’s budget, fueling Iran’s domestic repression, nuclear program, and support for terrorist proxy groups around the Middle East. In March, Iranian oil exports reached their highest point since October 2018, when the Trump administration reimposed key oil sanctions lifted during the previous Obama administration. During the Biden administration’s tenure, Iranian oil exports have totaled at least $100 billion. China purchases between 80-90 percent of available Iranian oil, while most of the remainder is destined for Syria, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.

In April, Congress passed the Stop Harboring Iranian Petroleum (SHIP) Act, imposing new sanctions on entities that engage in or facilitate Iran’s illicit oil trade, specifically targeting foreign ports and refineries. In January, a bipartisan, bicameral congressional coalition urged President Joe Biden to crack down on Iranian illicit oil exports and apply further sanctions on entities supporting Iran’s oil trade.

Iran’s Terror Proxies Gather On Sidelines of Raisi’s Funeral,” FDD Flash Brief

Iran’s Oil Exports Continue To Rise,” by Saeed Ghasseminejad

Bipartisan Coalitions Urge Biden to Resume Enforcement of Iran Oil Sanctions,” by Saeed Ghasseminejad

Issues:

Energy Iran Iran Politics and Economy Iran Sanctions