Politics

Iranian economic minister: Sanctions to send oil ‘considerably higher’ than $100 per barrel

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Jeff Poor
Media Reporter

Iran’s government is warning of dire consequences if the European Union goes ahead with its planned total embargo of Iranian crude oil purchases this summer as punishment for the Islamic regime’s nuclear program.

On the weekend broadcast of CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” Iranian economy minister Shamseddin Hosseini echoed an International Monetary Fund warning that the price of oil could hit a new high  if the European Union enacts the embargo and the United States continues its sanctions.

“Even the IMF says that as a result of these sanctions oil prices will perhaps reach and hover around $160 per barrel,” Hosseini said. “And the decrease in financial and economic output in Europe will truly be felt.”

Zakaria asked Hosseini how long his country could endure the international pressure from sanctions and the planned embargo.

“We have been the subject, the target of sanctions for the last 33 years,” he said.

“We believe that those who impose the sanctions have exerted the maximum level of pressure they have been capable of, but the reality that is showing itself today is that the capacities and the economic specialties and strengths of Iran are such that can cause a backlash — an economic backlash — for the imposers of these sanctions and their countries. This really shows that the economic strength of Iran is in such a way that can withstand these sanctions, and [our economy] will not be the only economy to suffer.”

Hosseini said the world would be in a “much better place” if the sanctions were lifted.

“I believe that we must, at least, in order to have sustainable growth for the producers, maintain prices at $100 per barrel,” Hosseini said.

“But keep in mind the following: Can the industrial powers get out of the current situation they’re in with these prices? Therefore, the answer being obvious, the prices will go considerably higher than $100 per barrel.  If we see reforms — tangible reforms in this behavior — we will be in a much better place.  If we don’t, we will witness an increase in international oil markets.”

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