Oil minister: Iran sanctions promotes self-sufficiency
Iranian Oil Minister Masoud Mir-Kazemi says the country has the potential to achieve self-sufficiency in gasoline production amid urgent conditions.
“The oil sanctions against Iran have actually turned out to serve as an opportunity for the country,” he said in an interview with Iran’s Mehr News Agency published Tuesday.
He added that compared with the past, the number of real and legal entities willing to sell gasoline to Iran has climbed to more than what the country actually needs.
“The rhetoric of sanctions on gasoline against Iran has become an ineffective threat,” he said.
Mir-Kazemi noted that Iran is able to secure its needed gasoline through an emergency gasoline production plan in the country’s petrochemical complexes.
On Saturday, the head of Iran’s Committee for Transportation and Fuel Management said Iran is capable of becoming self-sufficient in gasoline production this year.
“Considering the efforts made by the Oil Ministry, we believe that we can increase gasoline production by 10 million liters (per day) this year,” Mohammad Rouyanian said.
Earlier in March, Mir-Kazemi told reporters that the country would secure its needed gasoline from different foreign sources, or through domestic production if faced with gasoline import sanctions.
“Foreign companies will actually sanction themselves if they stop selling gasoline to Iran,” Masoud Mir-Kazemi said, adding that those foreign firms will place their names on Iran’s black list.
The official said that so far the country has successfully dealt with any problems arising in purchasing gasoline from foreign sources.
“Under an emergency plan, Iran will boost gasoline production by 14 million liters per day if the country finds it necessary,” he said.
Some 44.7 million liters of gasoline are being produced daily in seven domestic refineries.
Though Iran is the world’s fifth-largest crude exporter, it still has to import up to 40 percent of its gasoline.
In January, the US Senate approved a bill that would allow President Barack Obama to impose new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has recently dismissed threats of imposing sanctions on Iran’s gasoline imports and urged the Oil Ministry to expedite the completion of refineries to make the country self-sufficient in gasoline production.