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Minister estimates Iran lost $100bn in crude revenues since 2018

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Oil Minister Zanganeh says Iran lost $100 bn in crude revenues because of US bans and the pandemic.

Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh says the country has lost an estimated $100 billion in crude revenues since 2018 because of US sanctions that hampered sales and due to lower prices in international markets that was caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Zangaeh provided the estimates in a report submitted to a high-profile economic meeting chaired by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran on Sunday, according to Rouhani’s official website.

The report said the loss had been accumulated since the middle of 2018 when the then US government abandoned an international deal on Iran’s nuclear program and imposed sanctions on Tehran.

It said, however, that lower crude oil sales had forced the Iranian government to change the way of funding its daily routines as well as the projects needed to develop the infrastructure in the country.

The report insisted that dependence on crude revenues had declined to only 10% in the annual budget adopted by the government for the calendar year to March 2021, down from 42% in 2012-2013.

Iran’s crude sales were the main target of US sanctions imposed in May 2018. Exports declined to their lowest when Washington toughened the bans a year later by removing the waivers given to certain customers of the Iranian oil in Asia.

However, Iran crude shipments increased in the second half of 2020 as the country found innovative ways of getting round the US sanctions to sell its oil.

That has come despite a major crisis gripping the international markets since earlier last year when the spread of the coroanvirus hit demand for fuel and caused oil prices to crash.

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