“Gas is important to Europe, and to the whole world. Iran has the tool that it can use as a sectional one, if it deems it necessary,”- said Khamenei, speaking in Tehran in front of the delegation from one of the country’s provinces.
Khamenei said that if Iran will not resist to the pressure from the West, it will have to face “new restrictions on its nuclear program and new sanctions.”
Iran produces 2.7 million barrels of oil a day and 600 million cubic meters of gas. The Islamic Republic has a third largest oil reserve (about 10 percent of world reserves, or 18.8 billion tons), second only to Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. During this year, Iran intends to reduce the revenues from oil and gas exports from 30 to 25 percent.
Last week, the European Union renewed the sanctions against the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) and Iranian businessman Hossein Golparvar, which was the reason for the speech by Khamenei.
At the end of January 2015, Iran rejected to use the US dollar when settling contracts with foreign partners. Deputy Director of the Central Bank of Iran, Gholam Ali Kamyab stated that when concluding foreign contracts Iran will use other currencies, particularly the yuan, the euro, the Turkish lira, the Russian ruble and the South Korean won.
The sanctions by the EU and the US, imposed on Iran in 2012, limit Iran’s ability to sell oil abroad. The reason for sanctions was Tehran’s continuing work on its nuclear program. Europeans and Americans suspect Iran of developing nuclear weapons, but Iranians deny these accusations, insisting on the exclusively peaceful nature of the program.