Ex-Minister Plays Down Concerns about Iran Oil Sanctions

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s former oil minister played down concerns about a fresh round of sanctions the US is going to impose on Iranian crude exports, saying the country had faced the same situation a few years ago, but managed to skirt the sanctions.

In comments on Sunday, Rostam Qassemi, Iran’s oil minister under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said the sanctions that the US government is going to re-impose on Iran had been experienced back in 2011 and 2012 when he was in charge. 

Qassemi added that Iran could sell $170 billion worth of oil during those two years under sanctions.

He noted that although many gas projects were at stake in the early days of the sanctions, his ministry could handle the situation, save the oil and gas industry and accelerate the development of the South Pars gas field.

On May 8, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the JCPOA, which was achieved in Vienna in 2015 after years of negotiations among Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany), and announced plans for new sanctions against Tehran.

The White House has also announced plans to get as many countries as possible down to zero Iranian oil imports and launch a campaign of “maximum economic and diplomatic pressure” on Iran.

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