SHANA – Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh told a specialized panel at the Russian Energy Week: “We believe that oil and gas are not weapons.”
Addressing the panel that was themed at the sale of Iranian oil, the official pointed to illegal US sanctions against Iran, saying: “The United States has used all its tools against Iran in the past year, so our plans to circumvent these conditions cannot be explicated and must be treated at a secret.”
“We believe that oil and gas are not weapons but have been created for the welfare of all the people of the world, including producers and consumers,” he said, adding that the United States used oil and gas as a weapon.
Zanganeh said the impact of the sanctions on Iran was undeniable, and said that Iran would do its best to get out of this condition. “Currently, Iran is in a good condition in the gas sector and by March 20, 70 mcm/d will be added to gas production capacity of South Pars gas field.”
Given Iran’s 17% share in the world’s proven natural gas reserves, the country’s role in securing world energy is undeniable, Zangeneh added. It is expected that by next year, Iran’s natural gas production will reach more than one billion cubic meters a day.
He added that over the past three decades, more than one percent has been added to the share of gas in the energy mix in Iran which is now 70%. “A major part of substitution of gas with oil has taken place in the household, power generation and industrial sectors. Right now, over 95% of the urban and rural households have access to natural gas.”
The Iranian petroleum minister also cited CNG fuel consumption in cars, noting that Iranian cars now consume more than 20 million cubic meters per day of the item, which is unique, stating: “Our focus is now on gas exports and our neighbors are our priority in this regard.”
He cited Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan, Armenia and Oman as Iran’s gas export routes, and added: “We hope that by easing of sanctions and reduced tensions in the Middle East, Iran’s gas exports could be accelerated. We believe that the southern part of the Persian Gulf is one of the best areas for exporting Iranian gas.”
The US has Tapped all its tools to sanction Iran
The Iranian Minister of Petroleum said: “The US has used all of its tools to sanction Iran. It has now run out of the means to put more pressure on Iran.”
Zangeneh continued: “They (the Americans) say they are friends of the Iranian people and are only at odds with the Iranian government, while their claim is not true and the sanctions are against the Iranian people and nation. When there is no money to buy medicine and food, this would not merely put pressure on the government, rather it is the people that are put under pressure.”
“We believe that we can run the country and control the economy under the current circumstances,” he further said, citing that the sanctions targeted the oil, petrochemical, iron, copper, banking, etc. industries in Iran.