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25 January 2012 - 22:09

Former Iran's Oil Minister, Mas’oud Mir-Kazemi said today the sanctions on the Islamic Republic's oil export is not a new measure and in the final analysis will put the European Union (EU) at a disadvantage.

Speaking to Khabar Online, Mir-Kazemi commented on the embargoes the European Union put on Iran's crude: "Such act will cause many problems for the Europeans."
"Imposing sanction on us is not something new and as the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran is waving in this country, such measures will continue, since they have basically problems with the nature of the Islamic Republic system and raising issues like our nuclear program, human rights and so on are simply pretexts to put us under more pressure," he said.
Recently, the European Union passed a new round of economic sanctions against Iran including an immediate ban on all new contracts to import, purchase or transport Iranian crude and petroleum products. However, EU countries would honor existing contracts up to July 1.
The European Union officials said they also agreed to freeze the assets of Iran's central bank and ban trade in gold and other precious metals with the bank and state bodies, Reuters reported.
All these actions are taken to halt enriching uranium by the Islamic Republic which they claim is aimed at producing atomic weapons but has been firmly rejected by Tehran which stresses its nuclear program is peaceful in nature.
Referring to the embargos placed on Iranian companies in the years after the Islamic Revolution, Mir-Kazemi stated: "During those years, the Western companies had been prohibited to sell their products to us and the West later imposed a financial sanction on Iran."
"Today they raise the issue of sanction on Iranian crude, but once again they will fail, since they know themselves that such measures will not have an impact and the Islamic Republic is becoming more powerful day by day," former Oil Minister added.
Responding to a question why as the European countries are struggling with economic problems, are pushing for imposing new sanctions on Iran, he asserted: "Although we don't have a big share in selling crude to Europe, they need our oil."
"Their latest action would not cause a problem for the Islamic Republic, but the Europeans would suffer a loss since as the oil supply becomes limited, naturally its price will increase," Mir-Kazemi added.
Brent crude rose above $111 on concerns about global oil supplies if sanctions freeze OPEC's second biggest producer out of the market or push it towards military conflict. The European Union, Iran's second biggest oil customer after China, buying some 450,000 barrels per day of its 2.6 million bpd exports.
Earlier, Iran's Oil Ministry issued a statement saying the sanctions did not come as a shock. "The oil ministry has from long ago thought about it and has come up with measures to deal with any challenges."
"Through the imposition of sanctions on Iranian oil, the European Union involved oil, which is not a political tool, in political games to (achieve) political purposes, and the consequences of this hasty decision will affect the world’s other countries besides Europe," a part of this statement reads.
The Islamic Republic has already said it is willing to hold talks with Western powers, however it won't accept the condition which deprives Iran from its nuclear right.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Mir-Kazemi pointed to the readiness expressed by Saudi Arabia to increase its oil production which seems at odds with the commitment made by OPEC members and said that unfortunately OPEC earlier ratified the plan to increase crude output which enables the Arabian kingdom to execute its plan.
News ID 181421