Iran shrugs off latest EU oil embargo
DHAKA: As a new European Union embargo on Iranian oil goes into effect, the country’s oil minister and central bank governor have promised that the economy will easily survive.
‘The sanctions have had no effect on Iran and will have none’, Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi told the ISNA news agency on Sunday, reports Al Jazeera.
He was also quoted on the website of state broadcaster IRIB as saying that ‘these sanctions have existed for many years and nothing has happened, and one should not anticipate anything new’.
But oil market observer bodies and analysts say that the embargo, coupled with US financial sanctions ramped up on Thursday, will increasingly gut Iran`s vital oil exports.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) says Iran crude exports in May appeared to have slipped to 1.5 million barrels per day as the market braced for the embargo - well below the 2.1 to 2.2 million barrels Iran insists it continues to sell abroad.
Iran is the second largest producer in OPEC and earns about 80 per cent of its foreign revenue from exporting crude. Oil accounts for about half of all government revenues.
The EU measures are intended to pressure Iran over fears that it is developing nuclear weapons. Iran denies the charges.
BDST: 1451 HRS, JUL 1, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor