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Defying US sanctions, Iran inaugurates new South Pars gas field phases


Report by Press TV; photos by Ehsan Naderipour, Islamic Republic News Agency

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has inaugurated four new phases of the huge offshore South Pars gas field in a move, which has been seen as a clear sign of the failure of US sanctions against the country.

During an inaugural ceremony in the southern coastal city of Kangan on Sunday, Iran's president officially launched phases 13, 22, 23, and 24 of South Pars gas field, noting that despite all the US pressures on the Iranian nation, especially through the imposition of unilateral economic sanctions, Iranians remain steadfast and resistant and continue to progress.

"Americans did not want us to inaugurate any important projects during the current year, but we made all projects operational on schedule," Rouhani said.

"Today is a very auspicious day for the Iranian nation, which has dealt strong blows to enemies, because they thought that by imposing sanctions, they would be able to stop all our plans and advances," Rouhani added.

The inauguration of the new phases of Iran's South Pars gas field has been seen by experts as a clear sign of the failure of US sanctions against the country's energy sector, which were mainly meant to curtail Iran's production of oil and gas as its main revenue sources.

US President Donald Trump withdrew Washington in May last year from the landmark Iran nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015, and decided to re-impose unilateral sanctions against Tehran.

Under the deal, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.

Trump's administration announced re-imposition of the "toughest" sanctions ever against Iran's banking and energy sectors with the aim of cutting off the country's oil sales and crucial exports.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani said, "Enemies thought that they would mount such economic pressure on [the Iranian] people that our people would bend the knee in front of superpowers. However, this great and history making nation has demonstrated its steadfastness and resistance at all junctures of its history, especially during the current year, which is nearly finished."

Noting that "the sanctions imposed by the United States against Iran are sanctions against humanity," Iran's chief executive emphasized that what Americans are doing against Iran is a crime against humanity, but "America will never achieve its goals."

"Before being an economic war, sanctions are psychological war through which America is trying to make the Iranians pessimistic about their future ... and make them think that as time goes by, their conditions will deteriorate," Rouhani said.

Saying that production of gasoline in Iran has been doubled since the inauguration of his administration, Rouhani said, "During recent rounds of sanctions, we saw that the United States did not even think about imposing gasoline sanctions on Iran, because it knew that Iran has become self-sufficient in gasoline production. Today, we are also self-sufficient in producing diesel fuel and gas."

In a TV interview back in February, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh said the country has become self-sufficient in gasoline production despite US sanctions on its energy sector.

His remarks came after President Rouhani inaugurated the third phase of a gas condensate plant, known as the Persian Gulf Star Refinery, in the southern city of Bandar Abbas.

The gas condensate plant supplies various petroleum products, including diesel fuel, gasoline, hydrogen, sulfur and jet fuel.

"Fortunately, we do not need to import gasoline anymore. We have reached self-sufficiency. We can export our produced gasoline, but have no export plans," Zangeneh was quoted as saying by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.

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