Trump's policies are already putting significant pressure on the Iranian economy, although USA intelligence suggests they may ultimately rally Iranians against the United States and strengthen Iran's hardline rulers, officials say.
"When we decide anything on Iran, we will inform you".
More than 100 Iranian warships are said to be involved in the drills after an increase in naval activity was detected in the Strait of Hormuz this week - a strategic waterway for oil shipments, the official said.
The spokesperson then pointed to the worldwide anger at the USA and Washington's policies towards its age-old allies, saying, "There is indication even in the Persian Gulf littoral states that there are concerns about Trump's policies, because they have the feeling that Trump is only seeking to empty their pockets".
"The unilateral sanctions should be abandoned because they are counterproductive", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters.
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".
Francis Fannon, U.S. assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Energy Resources, was recently in China to discuss sanctions, Bloomberg said, citing a U.S. government official.
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State refiners accounted for about four-fifths of the imports; Indian Oil Corp along with its unit Chennai Petroleum Corp imported approximately 300 000 bpd oil, the preliminary data showed.
Unfazed, the administration has warned that even allies would face sanctions if they didn't show significant progress in reducing Iranian oil purchases by November 4, ruling out broad exemptions or waivers.
Other oil producing countries, led by Saudi Arabia, have vowed to increase production to cover the loss of Iranian oil. In return, Iran agreed to scale back its nuclear program.
In May, the United States pulled out of a 2015 deal between world powers and Tehran under which global sanctions on Iran were lifted in return for curbs on its nuclear programme. The other partners in the agreement, including the U.K., France, Germany and Russian Federation, criticized the USA move to quit the deal.
Trump claimed the deal wasn't stopping Iran supporting terror groups or developing ballistic missiles.
Washington imposed a series of additional sanctions on Iranian entities and individuals, as well as foreign companies in Iran, squeezing Iran economically.
These will take effect on August 6, November 4 and November 5.