Iran's deputy foreign minister said Tehran will not let regional powers jeopardise its security interests in Yemen, Tasnim news agency reported, in the strongest acknowledgement yet of Iranian involvement in the Arabian peninsula.
Asian imports of Iranian crude fell 9.2 per cent in March from a year ago as India bought no oil from the sanctions-hit country for the first time in at least a decade under US pressure, offsetting a jump in purchases by Japan and South Korea.
Iran's crude oil exports have risen in April following softer sales last month, helped by a framework nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers and the possibility that Western sanctions could be lifted soon.
Iran's foreign minister told a New York City audience on Wednesday that Tehran respects freedom of navigation in the Gulf, a day after Iranian patrol boats seized a Danish container ship in one of the world's busiest oil shipping lanes.
Danish shipping company Maersk said on Wednesday the crew of the Maersk Tigris container ship were safe and "in good spirits" after Iranian authorities seized the vessel in the Strait of Hormuz the previous day.
Iranian forces boarded a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship in the Gulf on Tuesday after patrol boats fired warning shots across its bow and ordered it deeper into Iranian waters, the Pentagon said.
US planes and a destroyer were
The US and five other major powers are closer than ever to a deal with Iran that would end a 12-year-old standoff over Tehran's nuclear program, though more tough negotiations lie ahead, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday.
Iran plans to start to extract oil from the world's largest gas field next year as part of the Opec member's strategy to boost its crude oil production to at least 3 million barrels per day, official Iranian media reported.
A gas leak at the Arak oil refinery in central Iran injured seven workers on Sunday, four of them critically, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
The leak at the sour water processing unit was blamed on workers failing to