Sanctions on oil industry defeated

TEHRAN, May 18 (MNA) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said here on Monday that despite increased pressure on the country in recent years, the international sanctions on the country’s oil industry have been defeated.

During the past three to four years, “the enemy imposed international sanctions on the oil industry, seeking to make the country dependent and limit investment, and they expected that through such plans, the oil industry would be paralyzed, (but) the country was not damaged and the international sanctions were defeated,” he told senior oil industry directors at a conference in Tehran.

 

U.S. trade and economic sanctions bar investment in Iran’s oil sector and are meant to pressure Iran over its nuclear program.

 

At the meeting, Iranian Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari said that a total of $66 billion from domestic and foreign sources has been invested in the oil industry over the past four years.

 

He also said Iran has been preparing for over two years to counter the consequences of any future sanctions on its gasoline imports.

 

There are currently numerous sources from which the Islamic Republic can obtain gasoline and there is no longer any possibility to impose sanctions on Iran’s gasoline imports, he stated.

 

And there are seven Iranian refineries that could raise their gasoline production at short notice, Nozari added.

 

On April 28, a group of 25 U.S. senators introduced a bill to the U.S. Senate which seeks to sanction firms that sell gasoline to Iran.

 

The senators proposed the new sanctions bill, despite the fact that the 5+1 group (the five permanent UN Security Council members -- the U.S., Britain, France, China, and Russia -- plus Germany) had already agreed to hold a new round of talks over Tehran’s nuclear program.

 

If the bill is approved by the Senate, the U.S. president will have authority to impose economic sanctions on foreign firms that sell, ship, or insure gasoline or other refined oil products to Iran. Foreign subsidiaries of U.S. firms also would be covered by the proposed legislation

 

Later on Monday, Ahmadinejad told reporters that his administration has purged key members of the “mafia” from Iran’s oil industry.

 

“Fortunately, the main hands have been cut,” he added.

 

In 2005, Ahmadinejad pledged to reform the oil industry by purging the “mafia” he said was running the oil sector and by distributing the oil revenues more fairly to the poor.

 

SL/HG

END

MNA

News Code 33840

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