Iran’s Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi says the country has significantly developed its capacity to ship oil overseas despite illegal US-led sanctions.
Speaking to Press TV on Thursday, the Iranian oil minister said, “I can tell you today that today we have to keep ability to transport the oil shipments more than the capacity we had even prior to the sanctions.”“We have no problem in this regard. And we have other customers and, in fact, it’s not possible to ignore us in the global market. If Europeans do not purchase our oil, we have also imposed sanctions on them. We have other customers today and more than 60 countries today, in fact, are purchasing our petrochemical and oil products and derivatives,” he added. “So we have our presence. We have maintained our presence in the market.” Qasemi noted that despite the US-led sanctions on Tehran, the country overhauled its oil industry by developing its shipping industry and expanding its oil market. The official said that Iran has increased the national revenues from the sale of non-oil products and managed to cut its dependence on oil revenues in its national budget. The West’s economic restrictions have failed to undermine the Iranian energy sector because domestic contractors overtook Western energy giants like Royal Dutch Shell and Total, he said. The oil minister added that Iran is also set to boost its natural gas revenues by expanding the South Pars gas field and exporting to regional countries and those in Europe. He also noted that Iran is on its way to become a major exporter of petrol. At the beginning of 2012, the United States and the European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors. The sanctions, which prevent the EU member states from purchasing Iranian oil or extending insurance coverage for tankers carrying Iranian crude, came into effect on July 1, 2012. The illegal US-engineered sanctions were imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. HN/HN