|Lifting sanction on Iran will save Sri Lanka’s deteriorating economy: minister||
TEHRAN - Sri Lanka would have a huge advantage if the sanctions on Tehran were eventually lifted, according to Sri Lankan Petroleum Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa.
Hard hit by the sanctions on Iran, Sri Lanka hopes the recent nuclear deal between Iran and the six major powers will save its deteriorating economy.
Responding to a question about the government's seeming inability to bring down petrol prices, Yapa told parliament it was due to the fact that the country's petroleum sector has been badly hit by the sanctions on Iran, Aljazeera reported.
The nuclear accord between Iran and the six world powers was, therefore, not only good news for Tehran, but also Sri Lanka, a country severely affected by international sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic. Iran accounted for almost 93 percent of the country's oil needs and had even offered a seven-month credit to Sri Lanka to settle the oil bill.
Prior to the sanctions, which affected Iran's ability to export its oil, Sri Lanka had been importing 39,000 barrelsa day. After the sanctions were placed, the country's oil import bill shot up. Sri Lanka's search for an alternative source of oil, when supplies ran thin, was costly.
Sri Lanka's only oil refinery had been fine-tuned largely to handle light crude from Iran. Before the crippling sanctions started to bite, Iran had pledged more than $1 billion in aid to modernize and expand the refinery's capacity.
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