Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has made an unusual announcement distinct from his normal emphasis on mere 'defiance' of US sanctions; instead, he is now boasting of the discovery of a new oil field with over 50 billion barrels of crude in the country's south.
"I am telling the White House that in the days when you sanctioned the sale of Iranian oil and pressured our nation, the country's dear workers and engineers were able to discover 53 billion barrels of oil in a big field," Rouhani said in a speech Sunday.
He described that the new discovery made in Iran's southern Khuzestan province, the country's domestic energy and oil production heartland, would hugely bolster Iran's proven reserves of roughly 150 billion.
The Associated Press reports this as "a find that could boost the country's proven reserves by a third as it struggles to sell energy abroad over U.S. sanctions."
And further, Rouhani appearing as if to quash any doubt, described specifics according to an AP summary of his words:
The new oil field could become Iran's second-largest field after one containing 65 billion barrels in Ahvaz. The field is 2,400 square kilometers (925 square miles), with the deposit some 80 meters (260 feet) deep, Rouhani said.
Despite having the world's fourth-largest proven deposits of crude oil, Iran has struggled to evade Washington sanctions on its energy sector and to sell to other countries.
China, once seen as a major purchaser through which Iran could weather the US "maximum pressure" storm, has also found its sanctions busting companies target of White House sanctions of late.
The boastful announcement from Rouhani if confirmed could inspire a last ditch effort of other signatories to the 2015 JCPOA — Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China — to step up and act with firmer resolve against US punitive threats.