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Iranian government shrugged off the latest round of oil sanctions

December 02/2011

(Arabian oil and gas) -- The Iranian government has shrugged off the latest round of oil sanctions, saying they will cause greater problems outside the country than within. Iranian oil minister Rostam Qasemi told Irans Tehran Times that sanctioning Iranian crude will cause problem in oil markets. His remarks were echoed by NOC head Ahmad Qalebai, who told the Mehr news agency Iran possesses massive oil and gas reserves... Thus ignoring Iran in oil and gas exchange will not be acceptable (by the international community).

Qasemi also told state media that the role of foreign companies in the countrys oil sector will be further restricted for at least five years. News of the sanctions has kept Brent prices around $110 a barrel.

The US, UK and Canadian governments agreed a tough sanctions regime against Tehran on 22 November, including an oil import ban and severe restrictions of the Iranian central banks activities. The UKs sanctions included a ban in any financial dealings between British and Iranian banks.

The sanctions were prompted by a report by the United Nations nuclear watchdog that gave increased credence to claims Iras nuclear program includes the manufacture of atomic weapons.

However, officials in the US are confident that the current roster of sanctions is hitting the Ahmadinejad regime hard. Iran has been increasingly unable to attract foreign investment, especially in its oil fields, leading to a projected loss of $14 billion a year in oil revenues through 2016, David Cohen, the US Treasury's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, told the U.S. Senate Banking Committee in early October, before the latest round of financial sanctions were initiated.

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