Petchem sanctions, political theatrics: NPC head

June 11, 2019

TEHRAN- Imposition of sanctions by the U.S. on Iran’s petrochemical sector is some political theatrics which will not impact Iran’s petrochemical output and exports much, National Iranian Oil Company (NPC) Head stated.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Behzad Mohammadi said sanctions are nothing new to Iran’s petrochemical industry and this sector has been subject to the bans since 2013, Shana reported.

“The imposed sanctions on the petrochemical industry would not influence our production and exports much and we are focused on developing the sector disregarding the sanctions,” the official said.

He said NPC had been successful to materialize over 90 percent of its revenue generation plan for the country.

Mohammadi further stated that Kaveh, Bushehr and Ilam Olefin projects will become operational in this Iranian calendar calendar year, which began on March 21, adding 5 million tons to the country’s petrochemical production capacity.

Moreover, 15 other petrochemical projects are expected to become operational by the end of the next Iranian calendar year, the official added.

“Regarding catalyst supply in the sector, we have no trouble both for production and supply of catalysts and the sanctions imposed by the U.S. on the petrochemical industry only serve as mere political theatrics rather than impacting the sector”, the NPC head noted.

As the United States sanctioned Iran’s Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (PGPIC) on June 7, many analysts and officials believe them to have no significant impact on the country’s economy in a broad sense.

Washington imposed new sanctions on Iran’s largest petrochemical holding group, aiming to dry up yet another source of Iran’s revenues in order to boost pressure on the country’s economy.

The U.S. Treasury said in a statement that it had sanctioned the PGPIC holding group’s network of 39 subsidiary petrochemical companies and foreign-based sales agents. 

However, experts and analysts believe this new sanctions to be more symbolic than practical.

According to a Reuters report published on June 7, a former U.S. Treasury official, who asked not to be named, said the new sanctions would have little effect.

Suzanne Maloney from the Brookings Institution think tank described the latest U.S. sanctions as “a natural next step in what I think is a deliberately redundant array of restrictions.”

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