State refiners drive India's July Iran oil imports to a record

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Their arrival means state carrier Iran Air has received 13 of the 20 it ordered from the French-Italian manufacturer in April 2017.

Ahead of the return of the US sanctions on Iran, India's state refiners boosted their Iranian oil purchases, pushing up Indian oil imports from Iran by 30 percent from June, to a record 768,000 bpd in July, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing preliminary tanker arrival data it had obtained from trade sources.

USA officials told Reuters on Thursday that the United States believed Iran had started carrying out naval exercises in the Gulf, apparently moving up the timing of annual drills amid heightened tensions with Washington.

"We are already seeing auto prices going through the roof over fears about raw material imports", she said.

Another expert who foresees tightening was far more outspoken in his short-term forecast: Stephen Brennock, oil analyst at PVM Oil Associates, stated in a note on Friday that "Venezuela's ticking time bomb together with the return of Iran's oil industry to the sanctions era has all the makings for a major supply shock".

Trump claimed the deal wasn't stopping Iran supporting terror groups or developing ballistic missiles.

Iran had hoped the lifting of sanctions would allow it to replace its aging commercial airline fleet, but the USA withdrawal has halted billion-dollar deals struck with Airbus and Boeing.

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In recent days, protests have broken out in several cities, with at least one person shot and killed. China's Unipec, the trading arm of Sinopec, has suspended crude oil imports from the United States.

She told CNBC with regards to the USA sanctions against Iran kicking in next week, "we're looking at tougher rhetoric and potentially tougher actions over August and September". Some protesters have shouted "Mullahs get lost!" and "Death to the dictator!" the semi-official Fars news agency has reported.

Some sanctions will take effect from August 6 while others, notably on the petroleum sector, will take effect on Nov 4.

Beijing has, however, agreed not to ramp up purchases of Iranian crude, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified because discussions with China and other countries continue.

The financial news provider quoted informed officials on Friday as saying that the U.S. had been unable to persuade China to cut Iranian oil imports and that Beijing's purchases from Tehran last month remained unchanged.

Rouhani has suggested Iran might block the Strait of Hormuz in response to a shutdown of its oil exports.

Iran's navy and its paramilitary Revolutionary Guard routinely conduct seaborne exercises in the Gulf and the strait. He said the exercise, which he described as an annual drill, was aimed at maintaining the security of the global waterway.

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