EghtesadOnline: So long as Tehran is grappling with the unending and hostile US economic sanctions, criticizing the government, especially the Oil Ministry and its subsidiaries, is not called for because it will harm not help, says a prominent Iranian energy analyst from London University.
“Coping with oil market volatility and exporting crude under the sanctions regime demands focus” and unity of purpose. Attacking the government under the current circumstances will not achieve anything,” Narsi Ghorban was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA.
Ghorban said differences of opinion between government officials, parliament members and experts are not unusual and exist in all countries. Magnifying and exaggerating problems would only make a bad situation worse, he warned.
Some energy experts and lawmakers have strongly and at short intervals attacked Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh for what they say is his “bad performance” in exporting oil, Financial Tribune reported.
They claim that his ministry should have adopted more efficient and workable policies to sell oil long before the new US sanctions came into effect in May.
The minister insists that he has done all he could to export more crude oil under the new and more stringent restrictions imposed by the overtly hostile Trump administration.
Zanganeh says he is fighting on two fronts. His “domestic critics on one side, and the strict and increasing US sanctions on the other.”
Senior officials in Tehran have condemned the malicious US embargo as a case of state-sponsored “economic terrorism” imposed by President Donald Trump after he abandoned the historic 2015 nuclear deal signed by Iran and the six world powers (five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany).
In a recent blunder, the oil minister said, state-owned Iran’s radio and TV organization carried a documentary in which a part of the Oil Ministry's unreported operations to send oil tankers to some destinations were exposed.
According to Deputy Oil Minister Amir Hossein Zamaninia, Iran has mobilized its resources to sell oil in the so-called “grey market” bypassing the US sanctions and pressures that are taking a toll on the people’s lives and the economy at large.
Washington has told buyers of Iranian oil to stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions. Since then, according to industry sources, the National Iranian Oil Company's sales have plummeted from 2.2 million barrels a day to 400,000 bpd.
Iran says it will continue to export oil in defiance of the illegitimate sanctions that the belligerent American president claims are aimed at “halting Tehran’s ballistic missile program and changing its behavior in the region.”
“We have mobilized the country’s resources and are selling oil in the gray market,” Zamaninia has been quoted as saying.
He gave no details about the gray market. Before the latest round of sanction China India, Japan and South Korea were the biggest buyers of Iranian oil.