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Iran anticipates 'new era' in energy

TEHRAN, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Iran's Oil Ministry is setting the stage for a new era in energy despite international attempts to hamstring the country through sanctions, a minister said.

The U.N. Security Council in June imposed new sanctions on Iran as punishment for a controversial energy sector. Western allies followed suit with unilateral sanctions that target Iran's energy sector.

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Iranian Oil Minister Masoud Mir Kazemi said his country was finding new ways to counter the efforts to disrupt energy supplies in the country.

"A better future is awaiting the oil industry despite all the mischief by the (Islamic republic) establishment's ill-wishers," he was quoted by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting network as saying.

Iran in the wake of the sanctions switched its petrochemical processing plants over to gasoline production to cope with any potential shortages. The oil minister said Iran has so far produced 264 million gallons of gasoline, which he said took Iran's adversaries "by surprise."

Energy analysts said that while Iran was able to stave off a short-term crisis with the petrochemical conversation, in the long term, that production is expensive.

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Nevertheless, the oil minister said Iran was on the verge of a "new era" in its energy sector.

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