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Iran calls US efforts to cut its oil exports to zero ‘political bluff’

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Statements by the United States that it would reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero are a “political bluff”, the head of state-run National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) said, according to a report published by Tasnim news agency on Wednesday.

U.S. officials have said they aim to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero to force its leaders to change their behavior in the region. U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil exports are scheduled to kick in on Nov. 4. 

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NIOC head Ali Kardor said U.S. President Donald Trump had been trying to reduce Iran’s oil exports for months.

“The president of America has done whatever he can and he knows very well that getting Iran’s oil exports to zero was a political bluff,” Kardor said.

The U.S. administration has been pushing its allies to cut Iranian oil imports and encouraging Saudi Arabia, other OPEC states and Russia to pump more oil to meet any shortfall.

Kardor said Iran did not have any difficulties receiving payments for oil exports and said the Islamic Republic could accept payments in euros instead of dollars if necessary.

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“There is no problem on this issue,” Kardor said, Iran’s ISNA news agency reported. “With European support there will not be a problem.”

European powers have been trying to salvage a nuclear accord with Iran after the United States withdrew in May.

The European Union said last month it was considering setting up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to facilitate trade with Iran and said it could be in place before November.

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European diplomats have said the SPV would create a barter system, similar to one used by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, to exchange Iranian oil for European goods without money changing hands.

Kardor said Iran was scheduled to sign a new oil contract with a foreign company within two weeks, ISNA reported. He did not provide any additional information.

Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Louise Heavens and Edmund Blair

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Robert Reich reveals he bets against Larry Kudlow predictions: ‘I’ve actually made quite a bit of money’

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Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich revealed on MSNBC that he bets against the predictions made by Larry Kudlow, President Donald Trump's director of the National Economic Council.

Anchor Chris Hayes interviewed Reich about the growing concern that President Donald Trump's trade wars are risking plunging the nation into a recession.

"As somebody who has been through a number of business cycles, has watched this administration and watched the sort of last administration working through recovering from Great Recession, where do you see us right now?" Hayes asked.

"Well, the fundamentals are actually, Chris, a little bit fragile," Reich replied.

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CNN’s Anderson Cooper demolishes Trump’s Google/Clinton conspiracy theory: He’s on ‘one of his favorite hobby horses’

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On Monday, CNN's Anderson Cooper walked viewers through President Donald Trump's latest theory about Google committing voter fraud on behalf of Democrats.

"I want to play you this clip from yesterday, because of how well it shows where his head still seems to be nearly three years after election night," said Cooper. "It was in response to a question about banning high-capacity magazines. First, he quickly changed the subject to mental health, and then, well, take a look."

"The concept of mental institution has to be looked at," said Trump in the clip. "Unrelated to that, I believe that the concept also of voter identification has to be looked at because you can't have great security for the voter. People that vote, you can't have that national security unless you can have voter identification. It's something people have to look at very strongly."

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MSNBC panel ridicules Mike Pence for mastering the art of the kiss-ass so he can run for president

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Vice President Mike Pence was mocked on MSNBC for his unwavering devotion to President Donald Trump.

"In Trump World where we live, unfortunately, the president demands complete loyalty. Vice President Mike Pence has been the most successful at navigating the choppy loyalty waters using effusive compliments when necessary," MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews said.

The host played multiple clips of Pence lavishing praise on Trump.

"Well, it appears to be paying off. Yesterday, amid reports that Trump might swap out for former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. The president told reporters he’s sticking with his guy," Matthews reported.

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