‘Iran not concerned about U.S. sanctions on metals industry’

May 12, 2019

TEHRAN- Iran is not much concerned about the United States’ recent sanctions on the country’s metal exports, as Iranian steel, copper and aluminum have already their own customers, according to Iran’s deputy minister of industry, mining and trade.

In an interview conducted by Tasnim news agency, Jafar Sarqini said that the fresh restrictive measures imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump on Iran’s iron, steel, aluminum, and copper sectors, seem "unlikely" to significantly affect the country's metal industry.

"There is not much concern about these sanctions as Iranian steel, copper and aluminum have their own special customers in the world," he said.

Sarqini also stressed that Iranian goods in the metal sector have high-quality and meet global standards.

"There is no specific problem regarding the selling of Iranian metals in the international markets because they always have their special customers due to their high quality and value," he added.

The official also noted that Iran's exports in the metal industry sector did not decline over the past year following Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal, but rather increased compared to its previous year.

Last year, Iran produced 25 million tons of steel, which make up 1.5 percent of the world's steel output, he added.

Iran plans to boost steel output to 55 million tons a year by 2025, of which 10-15 million tons would be earmarked for export.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Trump said that the new anti-Iran sanctions target "Iran's revenue from the export of industrial metals - 10 percent of its export economy."

He also warned other countries that "allowing Iranian steel and other metals into your ports will no longer be tolerated.” 

The announcement was made on the first anniversary of Washington's unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear agreement — officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Since then, the Trump administration has reimposed sanctions on Iran's energy, shipbuilding, shipping, and banking sectors under a campaign of “maximum pressure” against the Islamic Republic.

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