'No one can sell oil if Iran cannot'
A senior Iranian official has dismissed as futile the latest EU sanctions on the country's oil exports, adding that Tehran will not allow a condition to arise wherein others are allowed to sell oil and Iran is not, Press TV reports.
"In the absence of Iranian supply, oil prices will go up and they (the Western states) know it; However, Iran will never allow itself to be in a situation in which it cannot sell oil but other regional states can," Ali Akbar Velayati, senior adviser to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, told Press TV on Thursday.
Europe's decision to embargo Iranian oil exports is in no one's interest, Velayati said, adding, "Western policy makers know just too well that their sanctions regime is a political maneuver."
"Iran doesn't need any favor from any country to sell its oil, because global demand is always there."
On New Year's Eve, US President Barack Obama signed into law fresh unilateral economic sanctions against Iran's Central Bank in an apparent bid to punish foreign companies and banks that do business with the Iranian financial institution. The bill ultimately takes aim at Iran's oil revenue.
The EU followed suit after it slapped new sanctions against Iran in a meeting of the bloc's foreign ministers on January 23.
The 27-member bloc agreed to ban oil imports as well as petroleum products from the major OPEC member state and freeze the assets of the Iranian Central Bank across the EU.
The European Union also imposed a ban on the sale of gold, diamonds, and other precious metals to Iran
Iranian authorities have warned that the imposition of sanctions against the country's energy sector will prompt Tehran to choke the oil flow through the Strait of Hormuz.
The Strait of Hormuz is a narrow waterway which connects the Persian Gulf on the west to the Sea of Oman. Statistically, the waterway is one of the world's most important shipping lanes, with a daily flow of about 15 million barrels of oil.