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Tehran left in the cold as old allies cut crude imports

Recent oil sales to Asia make for troubling reading for Iran's embattled government

Iranian officials' upbeat public pronouncements on their ability to ride out the escalated US-backed sanctions regime are beginning to sound hollow. Tehran had hoped long-standing crude buyer China might withstand American pressure and continue to buy its oil-imports averaged 590,000bl/d in the May-October 2018 period, according to figures from consultancy SVB Energy International — but recent volumes are well down on this level. According to figures from leading cargo tracking firm Kpler, Iranian exports to China were just 190,000bl/d in January, compared to 409,000bl/d in December. Given that China forms one half of a sizeable Asian demand double act with India, accounting for about 80pc

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