“The private sector can run activity in crude oil export by setting up a consortium,” Memarnejad told FNA on Wednesday.
“The presence of the private sector is possible provided that the oil ministry issues the permission but from the Customs Office point of view, there is no problem for the operation of private companies in area of oil exports,” he added.
His remarks came after Iranian Industry, Mine and Trade Minister Mehdi Qazanfari confirmed earlier reports that the government has decided to sell crude through the private sector.
“The government has decided to supply oil through the private sector and crude supply will no more be centered in one single (state-run) company,” Qazanfari said in July.
“This way, the private sector can sell oil with lower advance payments and at prices lower than the Oil Ministry, and its revenues will be returned to the country in cash or in the form of imports of goods,” he explained.
The minister described the new plan as a “great development in private sector trade”, reiterating that the Iranian private sector has developed much in recent decades and it can now fulfill greater tasks compared with the past.
Qazanfari’s remarks confirmed earlier reports that Iran has set up a private oil export group in an attempt to bypass the European ban on buying Iranian oil.
The ban is part of the Western sanctions aimed at pressuring Iran over its peaceful nuclear program.