As EU oil embargo against Iran took effect today, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Ghassemi issued a directive “mobilizing all managers and employees of the oil ministry” to confront these sanctions.
Last January, EU member states announced that as of July 1, they will scrap all oil deals with Iran which also includes providing insurance for Iranian oil shipments.
The oil minister stated that “with the presence of international managers and experts, new measures to confront the sanctions on the sale of oil such as securing alternative insurance for Iranian oil tankers, increase of oil reserves, marketing strategies to sell oil to new refineries and export of oil will be taken.”
The Mehr News Agency reports that the head of international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company has announced that new customers for Iranian crude have already been identified. He did not however indicate who these customers were.
Meanwhile, Iran’s head of Central Bank Mahmoud Bahmani has indicated that Iran has sufficient foreign currency reserves to meet its import needs, adding: “We have not been sitting idle; we have many programs at hand to resist against these biased policies.”
Rostam Ghassemi said on television that Iran will weather the sanctions as it has done in the past.
“I do not see it as a problem that our enemies have imposed an embargo today,” the oil minister said. “simply, because they have imposed similar sanctions in the past and nothing happened.”
He added that Iran has already started selling oil to new customers.
The EU measures are said to be aimed at making Iran more compliant with the West’s demands about its nuclear program. Iran insists however that all its nuclear activities are peaceful and that it has a right to it.