The exports will bring in $4 billion to $5 billion for the country which is hard pressed for money amid an aggressive US push to sink Iran’s oil revenues to zero, head of the country’s largest holding in metals sector known as IMIDRO Khodadad Gharibpour said.
Earlier this month, the Trump administration imposed new sanctions on Iran’s metals sector, targeting the construction, manufacturing, textiles, mining, aluminum, copper, iron and steel industries, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
They came on the back of the first set of sanctions imposed last May on export revenues from Iran’s industrial metals sector which the US government said constituted 10% of the country’s export economy.
The measure put “other nations on notice that allowing Iranian steel and other metals into your ports will no longer be tolerated,” US President Donald Trump said in a statement at the time.
US bans targeting Iran’s metals trade came a year after Washington withdrew from a major international deal on Tehran’s nuclear program and started piling economic pressure on the country.
Last month, the US government warned against exports of steel-making materials to Iran, including graphite electrodes and needle coke.
However, Iran’s Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Reza Rahmani put the damper on Washington’s haughty grandstanding, saying Iranian producers had obtained the technology to make graphite electrodes.
Iran says steel industry growing after US turns up sanctions heatIran’s industrial metals, specifically steel, are the latest target in the Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign, but officials say the sector is unfazed and keeps growing.
“The aim of harsh American sanctions on the metal industry is to stop Iran’s exports, but this did not happen practically and we are seeing a boom in exports,” Gharibpour said on Tuesday.
Over the current Iranian year, he said, exports of National Iranian Copper Industries Co and Mobarakeh Steel Company have risen by more than $1 billion.
Iran is a leading producer of steel in the world, with officials saying exports continue despite the US sanctions.
The country plans to raise steel output to 55 million tonnes a year by 2025, of which 20 to 25 million tonnes would be earmarked for export.
Deputy Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Jafar Serqini said last month Iran has currently 35 million tonnes of steel production capacity.
Several steel units with an overall capacity of 10 million tonnes are currently being built with above 50 percent of physical progress, while another 10 million tonnes of capacity has been defined to be established, he said.
Steel output is expected to hit 28 million tonnes this year in March, when the current Persian year concludes, Gharibpour has said.