Iranian protesters attack Islamic school as sanctions loom

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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.

The U.S. has been unable to persuade China to cut Iranian oil imports, according to two officials familiar with the negotiations, reports Bloomberg.

Trump's policies are already putting significant pressure on the Iranian economy, although USA intelligence suggests they may ultimately rally Iranians against the United States and strengthen Iran's hardline rulers, officials say.

"It's a jittery feel here, as long as we have Iranian sanctions uncertainty and tariff uncertainty, and it doesn't take much to spark a significant swing one way or the other", said Jim Ritterbusch, an analyst in Galena, Illinois.

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But US President Donald Trump chose to reimpose punishing sanctions against Iran, whom he has accused of posing a security threat. The activity extended to the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway for oil shipments the Revolutionary Guards have threatened to block.

Iran has been furious over U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of an global agreement on Iran's nuclear programme and re-impose sanctions on Tehran.

United States 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.

"At 9pm [15:30 GMT on Friday] they attacked the school and tried to break the doors down and burn things", the Fars News Agency quoted the head of the school in the town of Ishtehad, Hojatoleslam Hindiani, as saying.

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Saudi Arabia, Russia, Kuwait and the UAE have increased production to help to compensate for an anticipated shortfall in Iranian crude supplies once planned U.S. sanctions take effect later this year.

In June, the USA state department said that countries buying oil from Iran should bring down to zero their Iranian crude imports by the time Washington re-imposes sanctions on November 4.

Chinese and Indian companies "will be subject to the same sanctions that everybody else's are if they engage in those sectors of the economy that are sanctionable", a State Department official told reporters in June. While the Trump administration has said it wants to cut Iranian oil exports to zero by November 4, most analysts viewed that target as unlikely.

In April-July, the first four months of this fiscal year, India's oil imports from Iran has risen by an annual 40 percent to about 677,500 bpd, the data showed.

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What's next for Iran oil?

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