Iran says U.S. oil sanctions may backfire

Dec. 10, 2012 at 7:16 AM

TEHRAN, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Western sanctions on the Iranian energy sector have prompted the industry to become more self-reliant, an Iranian executive said.

Abdolhosain Bayat, managing director of Iran's National Petrochemical Co., said sanctions weren't impeding national programs.

"By relying on their capabilities and knowledge, Iranian experts and manufacturers have been able to nullify the impact of sanctions so that at present many parts and equipment needed in petrochemical industry are being manufactured at home," he was quoted by the Oil Ministry's news website SHANA as saying.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week said several countries received waivers from U.S. sanctions targeting Iran's energy sector because they cut back in crude oil purchases from the Islamic republic.

Clinton said Iranian crude oil production was down about 1 million barrels per day.

"This has reduced Iran's export volumes and oil revenues, which fund not only the nuclear program but its support for terror(ism) and destabilizing actions in the region," she said in a statement.

Western sanctions aim to starve Iran of oil revenue that could help fund Tehran's nuclear program. Sanctions were blamed in part for the collapse of the Iranian currency last summer.

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