Jun. 1, 2013 (TSR) – Iran’s deputy Oil Minister Abdolhossein Bayat says Iran has two trump cards against new “illegal” sanctions by the US treasury against Iran petrochemical sector.
The energy official stressed that “Iran’s petrochemical industry is rapidly progressing and illegal sanctions will not stop the process of this industry’s… development and progress,” reported by Press TV.
Iran will also account to 38 percent of petrochemical production in the Middle East by the year 2015 and is currently producing 24 percent of the total petrochemical products in the region.
Over the past few years, Iran has significantly increased its petrochemical production.
“Since two years ago, diversification of target markets was set in the agenda for Iran,” said the deputy minister.
Irony: Iran signs greatest contract on Sanction Day
Javad Owji told Mehr News that the contract for transferring gas to 4500 villages had been signed. “With the contract signed with Iranian engineering companies, the physical operation of gas transfer to connect 4500 villages to national gas network has been launched,” he added.
The managing director of Iranian National Gas Company stated that this gas contract was worth of $ 6.5b, and added that the operation for gas transfer to 60 new cities had been in the agenda for future.
He also asserted that the pace of gas transfer operations had been increasing since March 2013. “Currently, 14,500 villages enjoy natural gas all over the country,” he added.
The member of Board of Directors of Iranian National Gas Company pointed out that since the beginning of the present year (March 2013), average of 4 to 5 villages had joined the national gas network. “Now, more than 1000 cities had natural gas,” added Owji.
“The physical operation for gas transfer to villages has now advanced 5 to 95 per cent. This extensive project has been implemented with maximum capabilities of domestic contractors and engineering companies,” he explained.
The U.S. government on Friday slapped sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical industry as part of its efforts to intensify the squeeze on Tehran’s economy.
In a written statement, the Treasury Department announced sanctions on eight Iranian petrochemical companies that are “owned or controlled by the government of Iran.”
Specifically, these targeted companies included Bandar Imam Petrochemical Company, Bou Ali Sina Petrochemical Company, Mobin Petrochemical Company, Nouri Petrochemical Company, Pars Petrochemical Company, Shahid Tondgooyan Petrochemical Company, Shazand Petrochemical Company, and Tabriz Petrochemical Company, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, the State Department also sanctioned two companies for “knowingly” engaging in the purchase of petrochemical products from Iran.
At a regular briefing, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said the two listed companies are identified as Jam Petrochemical Company and Niksima Food and Beverage JLT.
“These actions underscore U.S. resolve to cut off funds from the Iranian petrochemical sector, as the second-largest revenue source for Iran’s illicit nuclear program,” she told reporters.