TEHRAN, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Changing from crude oil sales to oil products is a "very valuable" asset for the Iranian government, the director of international affairs at the NIOC said.
Mohammad Ali Khatibi, director of international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Co., said international sanctions on Iran are more damaging to Iran's consumers than to Tehran.
The U.S. and European governments targeted the Iranian energy sector with sanctions in response to concerns over Iran's nuclear program, which Tehran says is for peaceful purposes.
Khatibi said sanctions are creating fluctuations in the oil markets that could have long-term consequences for consumers.
"Putting an end to selling crude oil and taking advantage from value added generated by changing it to oil products is a very valuable target and a detailed plan has been arranged to achieve the goal," he added in a statement to the Oil Ministry's news Web site, SHANA.
U.S. President Barack Obama this week signed an executive order that "is designed to deter Iran from establishing payment mechanisms for the purchase of Iranian oil to circumvent existing sanctions."
A U.S. State Department official was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying Iran was losing $9 billion in oil revenue per quarter because of sanctions pressure.