Iran threatens to revise oil exports

Nov. 6, 2012 at 5:34 AM

TEHRAN, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- "Special measures" were keeping Iranian oil exports robust though that could end as a result of increased sanctions pressure, the oil minister said.

Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said Tehran may revise export policies should Western governments increase sanctions pressure on Iran.

U.S. and European governments have targeted Iran's energy sector to block financing for Iran's nuclear program. The Iranian government in early 2012 threatened to close oil-shipping lanes through the Strait of Hormuz and, more recently, threatened to halt oil exports in response to sanctions pressure.

Qasemi told the Oil Ministry's news agency, known by its Persian initials SHANA, that Tehran doesn't take such decisions lightly given Iran's role among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Halting exports, he said, would hurt downstream consumers.

He added that reports stating Iran's oil production was in decline were incorrect, saying production was at a robust 4 million barrels per day.

"Despite recent pressures and sanctions imposed against oil industry, we have succeeded to leave behind sanctions by taking special measures," he told SHANA without elaborating.

Tehran was recently accused of using third parties to get around Western sanctions.

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