Iran will not succumb to U.S. pressure and will use every possible way to export its oil, Iranian Oil Ministry’s website SHANA quoted Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh as saying on Sunday, Reuters writes.
Iran’s crude oil exports were reduced by more than 80% when the United States re-imposed sanctions on the country last November after President Donald Trump pulled out of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
“We will use every possible way to export our oil and we will not succumb to America’s pressure because exporting oil is Iran’s legitimate right,” Zanganeh said.
IIran has gradually scaled back its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal, under which Tehran accepted to curb its nuclear activities in return for lifting most international sanctions.
The increasing U.S. pressure on Iran has scared away foreign investors from doing business in the country.
Last year, China’s National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) replaced French oil company Total (TOTF.PA) as the operator of Phase 11 project at South Pars gas field after the French company ended its participation rather than violate U.S. sanctions.
But late last year, CNPC suspended investment in the field in response to U.S. pressure. “China’s CNPC has totally pulled out of the South Pars Phase 11 development and Iran’s Petropars company will carry out the job,” SHANA quoted Zanganeh as saying.
Iran has the world’s second-largest reserves of natural gas, but it has not yet become a major exporter because of international sanctions imposed on the country for decades.
SHANA also quoted Zanganeh saying that Iran wanted to improve ties with Gulf Arab countries: “We want to be friends with all regional countries … they must not regard us as their enemy … Our mutual enemy is outside the Middle East.”