Iran criticized Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for its oil compensation offer in case West puts embargo on Iran's oil exports. The Islamic republic also said that Europe is not prepared to impose sanctions on Iran's oil imports.
Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi[File photo]
Iran's Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi on Tuesday called on Saudi Arabia to reconsider the offer to offset the potential Western embargo on Iran's oil exports.
"We expect the countries in the Persian Gulf region, particularly Saudi Arabia, with which we have always called for the best relations, to avoid injudicious remarks," Salehi was quoted as saying by the semi-official Mehr news agency.
Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi told CNN on Monday that Saudi would be able to increase its oil output by over two million barrels per day if the West imposes sanctions on Iran's oil exports.
"These are not friendly" remarks, Salehi said, urging the Saudi officials to reconsider their offer to compensate for the potential Western embargo on Iran's oil exports.
Also, Iran's OPEC Governor Mohammad-Ali Khatibi on Sunday warned against any crude boosts by Persian Gulf states to compensate for the potential Western embargo on Iran's oil exports.
"If our southern neighbors collaborate with the adventurous states by substituting their oil for Iran's oil," Tehran will consider such a "green light" to the West as an unfriendly gesture, Khatibi was quoted as saying.
Iran exports some 2.6 million barrels of oil per day (bpd), of which 500,000 bpd go to the European Union countries such as Greece, Italy and Spain, which respectively import about 25 percent, 13 percent and 10 percent of their oil from Iran.
On Tuesday, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said that European countries are not prepared to impose sanctions on Iran's oil.
European countries are not prepared to engage in serious talks to stop their crude oil imports from Iran, Mehmanparast was quoted as saying by local satellite Press TV.
They have even announced plans to impose sanctions for merely three months or postpone the effort for another year, he said.
The Iranian spokesperson said that the public in the European countries expect their officials to adopt policies independent of the United States and in favor of their own national interests, said the report.
The issues regarding the enforcement of sanctions against Iran's oil sector are intended to wage a psychological warfare on the Islamic republic, said Mehmanparast.
To ease the tension between Iran and the West over the country's nuclear program, Iran's permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali-Asghar Soltanieh said Tuesday that an IAEA team of experts will visit Iran at the end of January, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
A high-ranking delegation of the UN nuclear watchdog will visit Iran on Jan. 29-31, Soltanieh told Fars.
"This visit is an indication of transparency in the nuclear activities of the country and Iran's cooperation with IAEA," he was quoted as saying.
Last November, the board of the IAEA adopted a resolution on Iran's disputed nuclear program, calling for intensified dialogue to find solutions to unresolved issues.
However, Iranian officials have since been stressing that the IAEA resolution will not stop the country's nuclear program.
Also earlier in November, the IAEA said in its latest report on Iran's nuclear program that "credible" evidence showed that Iran had been seeking to obtain nuclear weapons, an allegation immediately rejected by Tehran, which called the report " imbalanced, non-professional and politically-motivated."
Last week, Soltanieh said all of the country's nuclear activities, including those at Fordo enrichment site, are under the supervision of the UN nuclear watchdog, adding that the agency has been monitoring all the activities in Fordo since two years ago.
Soltanieh said that the Islamic republic needs the 20-percent enriched uranium, to be produced in Fordo, for the production of nuclear fuel rods required at the Tehran Research Reactor for producing radioisotopes for cancer treatment.
Last week, Iran confirmed that it had begun uranium enrichment at an underground bunker of the Fordo nuclear facility.
The start of the nuclear work at Fordo has increased international concerns as the West suspects that Iran's uranium enrichment may aim at the ability to make nuclear weapons. But Iran insists that its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes.