Iran’s Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade describes the steel industry as ‘sanction-breaking,’ insisting that it can neutralize pressures stemming from the economic sanctions imposed against the country. Mehdi Ghazanfari announced on Wednesday, during the inauguration ceremonies of the largest and the most advanced sponge iron manufacturing unit in the country at Isfahan’s Mobarakeh Steel Plant, that raw steel production in the first two months of the Iranian calendar year (beginning on March 21) climbed by 4.9 percent compared to a similar period last year. He further added that the production rate of steel goods within the same period has also increased by 2.6 percent.
Saying that the capacity of manufacturing steel products in the country stands at 30 million tons per year, Ghazanfari estimated that steel production in Iran would reach 45 million tons by the end of the fifth economic development plan.The minister also said that the global rating of Iranian steel production has advanced to the 17th place from its 22nd standing in 2002. The Iranian industry, mines and trade minister said nearly 57 billion tons of mineral reserves have been identified within the country, of which 300 million tons are explored and mined annually. He further stated that even if this rate of mining climbs by threefold, Iran will still be able to satisfy the nation’s requirements for the next 57 years. MFB/HGH/AZ