Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has downplayed the US’ refusal to renew sanctions waivers for the import of Iran’s crude oil, saying that the Islamic Republic will export petroleum as much as it wants.
“Their efforts will get nowhere,” said the Leader in a meeting with a group of workers in Tehran on Wednesday.
“We can export oil as much as we need to and as much as we wish,” he said.
“They believe they have blocked our path, but the active Iranian nation and vigilant officials will unblock any deadlock if they try to,” Ayatollah Khamenei added.
The Leader said this animosity will not go unanswered and they will receive a response for their enmity.
“The Iranian nation is not one which would remain silent in the face of their hostility,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Leader underlined, “The less we depend on this form of oil sales, the more appreciative we will be, and this would be better for us,” he said.
The Leader’s comments came after the US said in a statement on Monday that buyers of Iranian oil must stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions, ending six months of waivers which allowed Iran’s eight biggest buyers — Turkey, China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan — to continue importing limited volumes.
“The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates … along with our friends and allies, are committed to ensuring that global oil markets remain adequately supplied,” the White House statement said, adding, “We have agreed to take timely action to assure that global demand is met as all Iranian oil is removed from the market.”
Following the move, Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh slammed the US and its allies for using oil as a political “weapon” to put more economic pressure on the Islamic Republic, emphasizing, however, that Washington will never be able to achieve its “dream” of cutting Tehran’s oil exports to “zero.”