TEHRAN - The Iranian private sector has delivered the first shipment of crude oil to foreign buyers, despite the U.S. and EU sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic’s oil sector.
Non-Iranian tankers transported the oil.
The private sector has signed several contracts to sell crude oil overseas, Hassan Khosrojerdi, the chairman of the union of Iranian exporters of oil derivatives, told the Mehr news agency on Sunday.
An agreement has been made that allows an Iranian consortium comprising private firms to export 20 percent of its oil exports to international markets, including the EU, he said.
“This equates to around 400,000 to 500,000 barrels of oil per day,” he added.
Economic experts say that Iran’s private sector will fill the gap created by international sanctions on Iran’s oil sector and central bank.
On September 2, Mohammad-Ali Khatibi, who is Iran’s OPEC governor and the director of the National Iranian Oil Company, said Iran's oil exports are at their normal level and are unaffected by Western embargoes.
"We don't see anything abnormal, almost everything is progressing routinely," he told the ISNA news agency.
In July, Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said that although the West has imposed sanctions on Iran’s oil sector with the goal of toppling the Islamic establishment, the country’s oil exports will never be halted because oil consuming countries need Iranian crude.
"There are many ways to easily sell oil, one of which is to take advantage of businessmen and the private sector," Qasemi said.
At the beginning of 2012, the United States and the European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.
U.S. sanctions entered into force on June 28, while EU bans on Iranian oil imports came into force on July 1.
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