Iran says non-oil export revenue OK

Feb. 11, 2013 at 8:47 AM

TEHRAN, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- The Iranian government is able to support itself economically despite sanctions pressure on its oil sector, said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The U.S. Treasury Department last week tightened sanctions in a way that it said would restrict Iran's ability to use oil revenue that may be held in foreign banks. Sanctions would limit "Iran's ability to move funds across jurisdictions," the Treasury Department said.

Ahmadinejad said the Iranian government made more than $75 billion in non-oil revenues last year.

"We could say to our enemies we do not care whether you buy our oil or not," he was quoted by the Oil Ministry's SHANA news service as saying. "Even we were able to stop crude exports voluntarily and run the country with non-oil exports revenues."

He didn't indicate what other export commodities were supporting the economy.

The national currency, the rial, collapsed last year under sanctions pressure.

The Iranian government, meanwhile, said it was looking to invest more money in the Egyptian energy sector following Ahmadinejad's visit last week.

Iran's semiofficial Fars News Agency quoted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi as saying "cooperation between Iran and Egypt is necessary in all fields."

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