TEHRAN, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Iran's oil exports to the European Union (EU) have declined by nearly half in the past 18 months, the Financial Tribune daily reported Thursday.
Iranian oil exports to the EU dropped to 387,000 barrels per day (bpd) in August, from nearly 740,000 bpd in March, 2017, the report said.
The decline in Iran's oil exports to Europe is believed to be related to the rising U.S. pressure on the international energy partners of Iran to reduce oil purchases from the oil rich country.
Iran has been holding talks with the EU on preserving the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), since the U.S. withdrew from it in May.
On Tuesday, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said that Tehran has given Europe until Nov. 5 to come up with "practical mechanisms" to fulfill its pledge to reduce the negative impact of U.S. economic sanctions on the Islamic republic.
"We have informed the Europeans in unambiguous terms of our main priority regarding the JCPOA that if the issue of oil exports is not addressed, staying in the nuclear agreement would not be of any benefit for us," Araqchi was quoted as saying by the Financial Tribune.
U.S. President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the JCPOA in May and reimposed the first round of U.S. sanctions on Iran in August.
The sanctions targeted Iran's trade in precious metals, transactions in U.S. dollar, as well as Iran's auto sector.
The second round of U.S. sanctions will take effect in early November, which will include a total ban on Iranian oil exports and doing business with Iran's central bank.
A number of major international energy and industrial companies have quit Iran's market amid the fear that they might fall to the prey of the U.S. punitive measures.