TEHRAN, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- An increase in domestic gasoline production from Iran will eliminate much of the need for imports, the oil minister from the sanction-strapped country said.
Washington and the European Union in July imposed sanctions on Iran that target the country's energy sector as punishment for a controversial nuclear program.
The sanctions target foreign entities doing business in the Iranian energy sector, leaving Iran vulnerable as it relies on imports to satisfy much of its gasoline needs.
The country has imposed restrictions on the amount of gasoline consumers can purchase, though Iranian Oil Minister Masoud Mir Kazemi said his country was on the way to a production target of 5 million gallons of gasoline, the semiofficial Fars News Agency reports.
"With this increase in production, Iran will not be in need of further gasoline imports," he said.
The oil minister added that his country was on its way to self-sufficiency in gasoline production through construction and upgrades to refineries. More than $1.5 billion, meanwhile, was targeting new exploration of oil and gas fields, the minister added.