Iran Studying How to Export Oil in Bid to Counter U.S. Sanctions, State Media Reports
Iran is studying ways to keep exporting oil and other measures to counter U.S. economic sanctions, state news agency IRNA reported on Saturday.
Since last month, when U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal which lifted most sanctions in 2015, the rial currency has dropped up to 40 percent in value, prompting protests by bazaar traders usually loyal to the Islamist rulers.
Speaking after three days of those protests, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the U.S. sanctions were aimed at turning Iranians against their government.
Other protesters clashed with police late on Saturday during a demonstration against shortages of drinking water.
“They bring to bear economic pressure to separate the nation from the system … but six U.S. presidents before him (Trump) tried this and had to give up,” Khamenei said on his website Khamenei.ir.
With the return of U.S. sanctions likely to make it increasingly difficult to access the global financial system, President Hassan Rohani has met the head of parliament and the judiciary to discuss counter-measures.
“Various scenarios of threats to the Iranian economy by the U.S. government were examined and appropriate measures were taken to prepare for any probable U.S. sanctions, and to prevent their negative impact,” IRNA said.
One such measure was seeking self-sufficiency in gasoline production, the report added.
The government and parliament have also set up a committee to study potential buyers of oil and ways of repatriating the income after U.S. sanctions take effect, Fereydoun Hassanvand, head of the parliament’s energy committee, was quoted as saying by IRNA.
“Due to the possibility of U.S. sanctions against Iran, the committee will study the competence of buyers and how to obtain proceeds from the sale of oil, safe sale alternatives which are consistent with international law and do not lead to corruption and profiteering,” Hassanvand said.
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