Iran might reduce oil exports in response to tightening Western sanctions

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The Iranian parliament’s Energy Commission is set to announce new measures that will reduce the country’s crude exports to deflect Western sanctions on the oil sector, Fars news agency reported Thursday.

The directives of the bill are part of Iran’s initiatives to slash crude exports to almost 77% in the current Iranian calendar year ending on March 20, 2013.

“The government is required to reduce oil exports up to one- third compared with last year’s in line with the Islamic republic’ s overall goal of preserving national independence and as a requirement of the present time,” the bill was quoted as saying.

The Fars report said the bill is waiting for the final approval of the entire parliament.

Earlier this week, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said Tehran will do everything to deflect the pressures of the Western sanctions. He also added that the Islamic Republic might stop or reduce its crude exports to the international market.

“The lack of Iran’s oil in international markets will lead to an increase in its global price,” Qasemi said while warning that it could cause suffering for people around the world.

IRNA, Iran’s official news agency, quoted the minister as saying that despite the tough sanctions imposed by the US and EU, Iran’s oil industry has been successful in overcoming problems and made remarkable progress.

The Iranian government announced green initiatives last month in order to reduce its domestic fossil fuel consumption with plans to increase the production of energy from sources like sun and wind. The country is also experimenting with bio-fuels in a bid to reduce the usage of its own oil and gas reserves for internal purposes.

The European Union (EU) imposed further sanctions on Iran last month, including a ban on the import of natural gas from Iran to the EU. Brussels also decided to broaden the existing export ban on key equipment and entities for Iranian oil, gas and petrochemical industries.

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