TEHRAN, June 26 (UPI) -- The Iranian oil sector is moving toward an era of self-reliance in the face of mounting economic pressure, the Iranian president said.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said during a ceremony marking developments at the Lavan oil refinery near the Persian Gulf the nation's energy industry was becoming self-sufficient.
"In the past foreigners asked us too many political and economic concessions by putting political pressures on the country but these days Iran's oil industry is moving towards comprehensive development, progress and self-reliance," he was quoted as saying Tuesday by the Oil Ministry news agency SHANA.
Iran said last year it had become self-sufficient in gasoline production. Corresponding measures were enacted to curb the consumption of gasoline for Iranian drivers.
A lack of refining capacity forced Iran to start importing more natural resources to meet its energy needs. Upgrades to the Lavan refinery included plans to reduce the sulfur content during gasoline production.
Iranian companies said they are at an advantage now because of sanctions pressure. Ahmadinejad said all parts of the energy sector, from engineering to production, are self-reliant.
Ahmadinejad is winding down his two-term stint as president. Former nuclear negotiator Hassan Rouhani takes office in August.