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Iran completely ready to counter sanctions: Oil Minister

Source: Press TV

Iran's Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi has shrugged off the US-engineered European Union embargoes on the Iranian oil sector, saying that the Islamic Republic is completely prepared to counter the sanctions.

Iran's Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi

"Iran's oil has its own markets, and, to counter the sanctions, all potential options have been worked out by the government," Qasemi said Saturday night.

He added that the sanctions against Iran's oil have existed for many years, stressing that it would be wrong to consider that the sanctions started as of Sunday.

He emphasized that Iran is still selling its oil in the international markets and "a part of the oil sales to Europe had been cut by Iran ahead of the sanctions taking effect."

Qasemi also stated that sanctions have no effect on the development of Iran's oil industry, adding, "Today, we are selling oil to those European customers with whom we had interactions since a long time ago, some of whom had participated in the development of oil projects, [as well as] many countries with a high economic growth and developing countries."

The minister noted that Iran's oil sales to Europe constituted only 18 percent of the total sales before the sanctions and said, "It does not seem difficult to substitute customers for this much of sales because there are currently countries that have applied for buying Iran's oil."

He warned those who have imposed the oil sanctions on Iran and stated, "We have repeatedly said you shouldn't politicize the oil market because the citizens of those countries that impose the embargoes will be hit the hardest."

Qasemi described as "irrational and illegal" the bid to impose sanctions on Iran and said that the oil sanctions on Iran were not imposed by the United Nations and that only a handful of countries moved to impose the sanctions due to their irrational demands.

He emphasized, though, that the Islamic Republic would pursue the issue through international bodies.

On January 23, the European Union (EU) foreign ministers approved new sanctions against Tehran to prevent EU member states from buying Iranian crude or doing business with the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) and to freeze the Iranian assets across the union. The sanctions went into effect as of Sunday, July 1.

New Iran sanctions aim to create psychological atmosphere: Economy Minister
Source: Tehran Times

Iran's Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Shamseddin Hosseini says the announcement of a date for imposing a new round of sanctions on Tehran is aimed at creating a psychological atmosphere.

Iran's Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Shamseddin Hosseini

Hosseini said on Saturday that sanctions against Iran have actually started a long time ago and the West is conducting a psychological operation by setting new deadlines.

"Westerners set unreal deadlines as the time to toughen sanctions in order to create a psychological atmosphere in the country," Hosseini said.

Hosseini stated that specific dates have been determined to impose new sanctions with the purpose of exerting more pressure on Iran.

On January 23, the European Union (EU) foreign ministers approved new sanctions against Tehran and set July 1 as the time when the embargoes take effect.

The sanctions prevent all the EU member states from purchasing Iran's oil or extending insurance coverage for tankers carrying Iranian crude.

The U.S. administration in late March approved sanctions on Iranian crude oil sector, which penalize other countries for buying or selling Iranian crude oil. The sanctions were scheduled to come into effect on June 28.

The sanctions have been slapped based on the allegation that Iran is seeking to acquire military nuclear capability.

Tehran refutes such allegations, noting that frequent inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency have never found any diversion in Iran's nuclear energy program toward military purposes.


... Payvand News - 07/02/12 ... --

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