"I have ordered the Oil Ministry to export some of the amount...."
News ID: 4710
Publish Date: 30 January 2011 - 00:45
TEHRAN, Jan. 29, 2011 - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday that Tehran plans to boost production of gasoline in the country's oil refineries in a bid to satiate domestic needs and further join Gasoline exporters club.
"Iran is due to increase gasoline output by 12 million liters daily by mid March," Farsnews quoted Ahmadinejad as saying when addressing the people in the inauguration ceremony of a freeway near Tehran.
He also referred to the western countries' failed pressures to ban refined petroleum products including gasoline to Iran, and said the country holds a multi-billion-liter stockpile of gasoline.
Ahmadinejad said the country's economic overhaul based on which the government has phased out subsidies has paved the way for saving the gasoline.
"I have ordered the Oil Ministry to export some of the amount, so that countries which imposed sanctions on us will see that we will be exporting petrol."
After the UN Security Council ratified a sanctions resolution against Iran on June 9, the United States and the European Union started approving their own unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program, mostly targeting the country's energy and banking sectors, including a US boycott of gasoline supplies to Iran.
The US Senate passed a legislation to expand sanctions on foreign companies that invest in Iran's energy sector and those foreign companies that sell refined petroleum to Iran or help develop its refining capacity.
The bill, which later received the approval of the House of Representatives, said companies that continue to sell gasoline and other refined oil products to Iran would be banned from receiving Energy Department contracts to deliver crude to the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The bill was then signed into law by US President Barack Obama.
Earlier in September, Iranian Oil Minister Massoud Mir-Kazzemi announced that the country has increased domestic gasoline production to 66mln liters per day, meaning that Iran no more needs foreign imports.
Iran has increased its gasoline production by 50 percentage points to become self-sufficient in the sector, Mir-Kazzemi said at the time.
Iran's daily gasoline production increased from 44 million to over 66 million litters, which means Tehran no longer has to import gasoline, he added.
In September 2010, Iran started exporting gasoline after increasing its daily fuel production.
"The first shipment of Iran's gasoline has been exported," Manager of International Affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company Ali Asqar Arshi announced at the time.