A senior Iranian energy official says Iran has authorized its private sector to export up to 20 percent of the country’s crude oil, in a move to dodge US-led sanctions against Tehran.
Hassan Khosrojerdi, the head of the Iranian Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Products Exporters Union, said Wednesday that the country’s Oil Ministry has given the permission to the private sector to sell a daily amount of 400,000 barrels of Iran’s oil to international markets.
Khosrojerdi referred to direct sales to foreign refineries and the exclusion of the National Iranian Oil Company from the marketing procedure as the conditions set by Iran’s Oil Ministry for the private sector’s sales of crude.
The Iranian official pointed to the sanctions against Iran's central bank, which handles oil sales, saying the exports of crude oil by the domestic private sector would ease this restriction.
The US and the European Union have imposed sanctions on Iran's fianancial and oil sector to pile up pressure on Iran over its nuclear energy program
The EU sanctions, which are aimed at preventing the bloc's member states from buying Iranian crude or doing business with its central bank, will come into force as of July 1.
The Western powers and Israel claim Iran is seeking to acquire military nuclear capability. Iran has strognly rejected the allegation.
Iran is OPEC's second-largest crude exporter after Saudi Arabia and sits on the second-largest gas reserves in the world after Russia.