Iran used to sanctions, oil minister says

April 15, 2010 at 10:35 AM
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TEHRAN, April 15 (UPI) -- The Iranian energy sector has grown accustomed to dealing with Western economic pressure since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the Iranian oil minister said.

Iranian Oil Minister Massoud Mir Kazemi said Western economic pressure on his energy sector presented no problems, adding Iran will be an oil-exporting country in the near future, the Iranian Oil Ministry's Petroenergy Information Network reports.

Western pressure on Iran for a controversial nuclear program is credited in part with a decision by oil and gas trader Vitol and Russian energy company Lukoil to pull out of Iran.

The minister, however, said the economic pressure is nothing new, noting his country would have no trouble dealing with hostile sanctions.

Washington during a nuclear summit this week put pressure on the international community to back sanctions at the U.N. Security Council.

Domestically, the minister noted that prices should be set at a rate that reduces "uncontrolled" consumption by 30 percent. Iran moved in recent months to curb domestic use of gas products. Kazemi said the move was meant to make more products available for export, industrial growth and for use in the agricultural sector.

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