Oct 5, 2020, 11:31 AM
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Iran oil industry; from sanctions to full-scale "economic war"

Tehran, Oct 5, IRNA – Although Iran’s oil industry has been under sanctions since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the current US pressure on Iran is not mere sanctions. It can be rather regarded as a full-scale economic war which aims to fully stop the country’s oil exports and access to petrodollars.

Despite the long record of oil sanctions on Iran, pressure on the country’s oil exports has never been so much tough and systematic.

President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that what happened over the past three years was an "economic war".

He made the remarks in reaction to some of his critics who argue that sanctions are not something new and Iran has always been under pressure since the triumph of the Islamic Revolution.

In the past, Iran used to be under sanctions, not an "economic war", the president said, adding that at those times Iran was able to export at least one million bpd of oil. 

Since he came to power in 2013, President Rouhani always sought a compromise solution so that “both the centrifuges and the wheel of everyday life of the people to turn around” in an effort to reduce the pressure of sanctions which were imposed on Iran due to the US hostility under the guise of the so-called concerns over Iran civilian nuclear program.  

To this end, the Iranian government engaged in marathon talks with six world powers (the five permanent members of the US Security Council and Germany) which led to a landmark nuclear deal in 2015 under which Iran had to scale down its nuclear activities in exchange for lifting of all the international sanctions on the country.

Few days after the accord was signed, the UN Security Council, in a unanimous vote, lifted all the sanctions imposed on Iran.

The nuclear deal and the lifting of sanctions helped Iran to regain its oil market soon and traditional customers of the county began buying oil from Iran so that the country’s oil revenues rose to $55.7 billion over the first year following signature of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.   

However, in 2018, the US new president, in a move contrary to international law, announced US unilateral withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal which was signed by his predecessor. In total disregard of the UN Security Council Resolution 2231, Trump at the same time imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran in a bid to slash Iran’s oil revenues to zero.

Iranian Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri has announced that Iran which used to have some $100 billion of oil revenues annually, exported only $8 billion worth of oil last year due to the US unilateral sanctions.

Despite all the pressures, the Iranian government is endeavoring to cut reliance on oil revenues and modified the budget bill of the country so that a 42% share of oil revenues was reduced to less than 10%.

Translated by: Ahmad Mohammadi

Edited by: Safar Sarabi

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