Minister Stresses Iran’s Ability to Redirect Oil Sales

Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qassemi stressed that Iran is not at all concerned about the possible imposition of EU sanctions on Iranian oil supplies as Tehran can easily replace Europe with new markets.

“We are no way worried about new sanctions because Iran has replacement for the 18% of its oil exports which is destined for Europe,” Qassemi said, speaking to reporters here in Tehran on Sunday.

However, the Iranian minister predicted that the European bloc would not ban oil imports from Iran as such a move would definitely affect the world oil market and cause sharp fluctuation in prices.

“Thus, the European Union will never go after new embargo on Iranian oil,” Qassemi stated.

Earlier US sanctions on Iranian oil pushed Iran towards Asian markets. After the US started sanctioning investment in Iran’s energy projects, Tehran said it would find Asian partners instead. A large number of Chinese, Indian and other Asian firms have negotiated or signed up to oil and gas deals with Iran.

On Friday, Indian Ambassador to Tehran D.P. Srivastava dismissed the US-led sanctions on trade with Iran, and underlined New Delhi’s enthusiasm for boosting its oil imports from the Middle-Eastern country.

“We want an increase in Iran’s oil exports to India,” Srivastava said in a meeting with the governor-general of Iran’s Southern Hormozgan province Friday night.

He expressed displeasure with the low amount of oil imports from Iran, and said Tehran and New Delhi enjoy $14bln worth of trade ties annually which are limited to India’s oil imports from Iran.

Earlier, rapporteur of the Iranian parliament’s Energy Commission cautioned that any ban on Iran’s oil supplies to the Europe Union would entail dire consequences for the bloc, including energy crisis in Italy, Spain and Greece as the three main importers of Iranian crude.

Speaking to FNA on Saturday, Seyed Emad Hosseini reminded that Iran supplies 18% of its oil exports to Europe, and said, “Greece, Italy and Spain are the three main importers of Iran’s oil and if our country’s oil is banned these three countries will face energy crisis and will be paralyzed.”

he cautioned that exit of an energy exporting country will disturb balance in oil and gas supply and demand.

Iran, the second-biggest OPEC player after kingpin Saudi Arabia, produces about 2.3 million barrels of oil per day – 450,000 barrels of which is exported to the European Union, according to the US Department of Energy.

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