Thursday, June 13, 2024

Economy minister says Iran’s oil exports hit highest level amid US sanctions

Tehran has achieved its highest level of oil exports for at least two years, surpassing the previous high of 1.3 million barrels a day despite Washington's sanctions, Iranian Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Ehsan Khandouzi has confirmed.

Khandouzi stated in an interview with The Financial Times that non-oil exports worth $53 billion were 12% higher in the first 11 months of this year compared to the same period last year. The minister credited the country’s continued economic success to the help of Russia, its largest foreign investor this year at $2.76 billion.

“We define our relations with Russia as strategic and we are working together in many aspects, especially economic relations. China and Russia are our two main economic partners (and) Iran is going to expand its relations with them through implementing strategic agreements,” he added.

Khandouzi also revealed that Russia had made up two-thirds of the total foreign direct investment (FDI) of about $4.2 billion in Iran this financial year.

The Iranian and Russian central banks signed an agreement in January to link their interbank communication systems to boost bilateral trade. Khandouzi stated other countries were interested in using mechanisms such as mutual monetary agreements or trade-based swaps to carry out trade with Iran.

“We have negotiated not only with Russia but also with China and other partners, including Turkey, in this regard. Technically speaking, this financial network is in a better situation between Iran and Russia than others,” he continued.

Iran has prioritized developing regional and Asian trade relationships since President Ebrahim Raisi’s administration took office in 2021 to counter the impact of sanctions. A Chinese-brokered deal signed this month will restore diplomatic ties between Iran and rival Saudi Arabia, seven years after they severed relations.

Iran has achieved significant economic growth despite the challenge of international sanctions by focusing on strengthening economic ties with strategic partners such as Russia and China.

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