Iran allocates $14bln to counter oil sanctions
Iran allocated a $14 billion fund for the development of the country's oil sector a day after the European Union implemented an embargo on Iranian crude exports, FNA reported.
The agreement to allocate the fund was signed by Managing-Director of Iran's National Development Fund Mohammad Reza Farzin and Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qassemi on Monday.
Addressing the ceremony, Farzin said that the fund will be allocated for the development of the petrochemical industry, development and completion of refineries, development of downstream oil industries, development of phase 20-25 of South Pars oil and gas field and the development of the upstream sector of the oil industries.
"The $14bln fund can create a remarkable momentum in the oil industry and indicates that despite sanctions there is no problem in the trend of the country's development and production in the oil sector," Farzin underscored.
The move came one day after the EU enforced an oil embargo on Iranian crude supplies.
The EU measure was ratified at a ministerial meeting in January, but the 27-member bloc deferred its implementation until July 1.
The Iranian oil ministry in a statement in late January downplayed the effects of the US and EU's unilateral oil sanctions against Tehran, and said such embargoes will merely harm the European economies and oil consuming countries.
After the EU's decision to embargo Iranian oil supplies, Tehran stopped exports first to France and Britain and very recently to Greece and Spain. Following Tehran's oil sanctions against the three and its warning to other EU members, oil prices started soaring in the world markets.
On Sunday, the Iranian oil minister described the sanctions on the Iranian oil industry as a great opportunity, saying restrictions and embargos have made Iran pursue development of its oil industry at a much higher speed.
"Thanks to the sanctions, Iran has changed from an importer of oil products and oil industry equipments to a key exporter in both these fields."