Iran knows how to resist in difficult times: Oil minister
Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh says the country knows how to cope with sanctions that have restricted its direct sale of oil.
Zangeneh said on Tuesday during an energy conference in Tehran that Iran would not allow the sanctions to leave a serious impact on the country's oil and gas industry.
“We have to resist and not allow a handful of people to usurp the rights of the Iranian nation and put us under pressure,” said Zangeneh, adding, “We have all learned how to resist during difficult conditions.”
The minister said Iran’s oil industry had become accustomed to a cycle of deadly sanctions that repeats itself once every few years.
However, he said that Iran had managed to offset those deadly blows through a better use of the country’s private sector in the oil and gas industry.
Zangeneh said oil was still an engine for development in Iran despite government's continued efforts to diversify the economy away from crude exports.
He said Iran and other countries in the Persian Gulf region had a huge potential for growth in oil and gas industry despite a major change that has occurred in the world’s “geography of oil”.
“No one had expected that the United States would become the largest oil producer in the world. A country that was the largest importer...” said Zangeneh.
Elsewhere in his speech, the minister elaborated on his Sunday remarks which showed that China’s main oil company CNPC had withdrawn from a partnership deal for development of Iran’s South Pars gas field.
He said CNPC and France’s Total, another party to a 2017 agreement to develop phase 11 of the South Pars, pulled out of the project in an uncontested manner.
“Of course their withdrawal took place in friendly conditions and we had no dispute and argument with each other,” said Zangeneh.
The minister had said on Sunday that Iran’s Petro Pars would take over from the CNPC in phase 11 of the South Pars, adding that the development project will go ahead solely relying on Iranian expertise and investment.