Iranian Petroleum Minister Rostam Qasemi condemned Sunday a recently announced EU ban on Iran’s oil exports, saying it would cause no problems to his country.
Commenting on the EU move, the Iranian minister said less than 20 percent of Iran’s oil exports went to Europe.
He even challenged that Iran would export its oil to certain markets in spite of the EU oil export ban.
For his part, Iranian Deputy Oil Minister and Managing Director of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Ahmad Qalebani said European Union sanctions on Iran’s crude exports would lead to a hike in world oil prices to USD 150 per barrel.
He believed that the decision by EU foreign ministers to phase out purchases of Iranian oil as of July 2012, would cause much damage to Europe.
The NIOC has been seeking for alternative markets far from European ones, given that Iran’s crude oil is of high quality, he said.
The ban is part of efforts by the EU bloc and the US to pressure Iran over its nuclear program. The EU measures include freezing assets of the Iranian Central Bank in Europe and banning petrochemical trade with Iran.