Iran receives more airplanes ahead of renewed US sanctions

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Meanwhile, the tensions between Washington and Beijing is scaring hedge funds away from an increasingly volatile oil market, according to Bloomberg, with money managers' total positions in the USA benchmark and Brent having slid to the lowest since 2016. The US also said that it would exert "maximum economic and diplomatic pressure" on other countries to stop buying crude oil from Iran.

Currently China is the world's top buyer of crude oil, including from Iran, making Chinese refusal to cooperate a major challenge to the US.

The snub could seriously undermine USA efforts to isolate Iran over the country's controversial nuclear programme.

Francis Fannon, US assistant secretary of state for the bureau of energy resources, was recently in China to discuss sanctions, Bloomberg said, citing a US government official.

Washington imposed a series of additional sanctions on Iranian entities and individuals, as well as foreign companies in Iran, squeezing Iran economically.

Repeating the pattern of past weeks, crude prices on Friday ended the week down by 0.4 percent for West Texas Intermediate and 1.5 percent for Brent, this time in reaction to China state oil major Sinopec cutting its purchases of us product due to the trade spat between both countries.

"Iran will survive this round of United States sanctions as it has survived them before", Rouhani said, describing them as a "crime and aggression".

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USA officials have softened their stance after initially saying they would press allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East to adhere to the sanctions and reduce their imports to zero.

Also last month, China, which is Iran's biggest customer, said it did not accept unilateral sanctions against Iran.

According to data compiled by the agency, China boosted its purchases of Iranian oil in July, snapping up more than a third of the country's total exports.

"China will continue to cooperate with Iran adhering to its worldwide obligations".

The Trump administration had wanted Iranian oil exports cut to zero by November 4.

USA nonfarm payrolls rose in July, but the United States trade deficit recorded its biggest increase in more than one-and-a-half years in June as the boost to exports from soybean shipments faded and higher oil prices lifted the import bill.

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