Iran's refusal from gasoline import may cause damage to country: west experts
Azerbaijan, Baku, May 20 / Trend , A.Badalova/
Suspension of gasoline import by Iran will have negative consequences for country's economy. "Iran needs to import gasoline. A shortage would cause social unrest," American Energy Security Analysis (ESAI) expert Andrew Reed said.
Iran's refining capacity is insufficient to meet domestic demand. The country is a net importer of gasoline and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Iran typically imports about 150,000 barrels per day in order to meet its domestic gasoline needs, Reed said.
Iranian Petroleum Minister Golamhossein Nozari stated that "Iran was underwent sanctions on gasoline sale. However, Iran welcomes such sanctions." An oil refining plant Setare in the Persian Gulf will allow Iran to produce 35 million litre of gasoline daily and will not import the product anymore.
Presidential elections will be held shortly, so a gasoline shortage now would be politically costly to the current government, Reed wrote Trend via e-mail.
"Iran's Petroleum Minister's statement is consistent with Iran's policy of demonstrating that it is not vulnerable to and will not bend in the face of sanctions," Reed said.
"One an economic illiterate would "welcome sanctions"; restrictions on trade always lead to bad economic developments," expert of the American Cato Institute Jerry Taylor said.
"I am suspicious of the claim that lost imports can be replaced by domestic refining within 48 hours," he added.
"If the Iranian refining sector could costlessly increase production to offset lost imports, then why has it not done so already?" Taylor said.
President of the Pioneer Astronautics company Robert Zubrin said that the statement of Iranian Petroleum Minister was a political calculation. A gas import cutoff will impose substantial hardship on the Iranian people.
"If the Iranian regime can successfully place the blame for that hardship on its western opponents, then the embargo will strengthen the regime's power, which is all they care about. For this reason, I consider the embargo to be unwise, as it punishes the Iranian people for the madness of the regime, without significantly punishing the regime, whose rulers will have all the gasoline they want, regardless," he said.
Do you have any feedback? Contact our journalist at: [email protected]