Iran’s First Vice-President Es’haq Jahangiri says the Islamic Republic has found new customers for its crude oil after a number of its former clients stopped their purchases over fear of the US’ November sanctions.
The senior official on Sunday touched upon Washington’s claim that it wants to bring down Iran’s oil exports to zero, saying the Iranian nation will stand up to foreign pressure.
“Oil is our major source of income, and the US has claimed that it will bring it (Iran’s petroleum exports) to zero. Some countries are also on board with the US. Under such circumstances, the Iranian people must expect officials to be able to export an acceptable amount of oil despite pressures,” said Jahangiri in a speech in Tehran.
“We have found new partners in the world using certain methods, and we are also in talks with our traditional partners and have found solutions. The US should know that any country that comes under sanctions will try to circumvent those sanctions,” he said.
The vice president said Washington did not want oil prices to increase.
“One of the things that the United States didn’t want to happen was a rise in petroleum prices because the US believed other countries could replace Iran [with regards to oil supplies], but now they are seeing that even before oil sanctions take effect, the prices of petroleum hovers above $80. That means even if we export half as much oil as before, our oil income will be more than that before the sanctions,” he said.
He said the private sector is also offering assistance in that regard.
“Businessmen and the private sector are helping as well. Iran lies on a strategic transit route, and the world cannot ignore this. So, many countries have but to buy Iran’s oil indirectly in order to meet their energy needs,” he said.
The vice president said Iran should increase its non-oil exports as well.
He further underscored the necessity of paying attention to domestic production and using locally-produced goods.
“Today, we are in a sensitive situation, which entails the adoption of policies that conform to the current circumstances,” he noted.
He said the enemy has launched an economic war to not only reduce Iran’s sources of income, but eliminate the possibility of importing the commodities needed by Iranians.
“And finally, they intend to trigger discontent among people by putting pressure on them and turn them against the government,” he noted.