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Iran's president has lead on oil sanctions

Aug. 8, 2013 at 8:29 AM   |   Comments

TEHRAN, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- It's up to the Iranian president to make the necessary foreign policy decisions to get relief from economic sanctions, his oil minister nominee said.

Hassan Rouhani, a former chief nuclear negotiator, took the oath of office as Iran's next president Sunday. He vowed to lead as a moderate and reach out to members of the international community.

Before Rouhani took office, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation designed to cut Iranian oil exports by as much as 1 million barrels per day. Western sanctions on Iran are meant to rob the country of revenue it could use for a controversial nuclear program, which Iran says is for peaceful purposes.

Rouhani nominated Bijan Zanganeh to return to the head of the Oil Ministry, a position he held from 1997 to 2005. The nominee said it was up to the president to make decisions affecting the Iranian economy.

"Sanctions are not limited to the petroleum industry," he was quoted by the Oil Ministry's official news agency Shana as saying Wednesday. "The necessary measures need to be undertaken by the president in the foreign policy arena [to get relief]."

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said Iran produced 2.6 million barrels per day in June, down from the 3.6 million bpd average for 2011.

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