Iran announced on Tuesday it has cut oil exports to two more European Union (EU) countries, Greece and Spain, as part of Tehran's pre-emptive retaliation over an EU embargo that is to go into effect in July.
An Iranian oil refinery [File photo]
The embargo was imposed over iran's controversial nuclear program this January.
Iran's Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said Tuesday that his country has suspended oil exports to Greece, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
Rostam Qasemi said that Iran does not sell oil to a number of European countries and "currently, the oil of Iran is not exported to Greece," said the report.
The oil minister argued that despite the recent ban imposed by the EU on Iran's oil exports, Tehran faces no problems in selling its oil.
"There has been no problem in selling oil products to other countries though the country is under oil sanctions for many years, " said Qasemi, adding that "these sanctions have had the least impacts on Iran's oil industry and have not been able to hamper the oil industry's progress."
"Iranian oil has high economic value and the international oil market would never neglect it," Qasemi said.
"Iran is not worried about the EU oil embargo on the country's oil exports, and in the following days it will stop its crude sales to a number of European refineries," said Qasemi in an inauguration ceremony of some petrochemical projects in Iran's southern gas-rich Assaluyeh region.
Last week, Iran's state TV reported that the Islamic republic has stopped its oil sales to two major Greek firms of Hellenic Petroleum and Motor Oil Hellas after the companies defaulted on their crude purchases from Iran.
On Tuesday, local satellite Press TV quoted an unnamed source as saying that Iran has cut oil supply to Spain after stopping crude export to Greece.
Iran is also mulling oil cuts to Germany and Italy, said the report.
In February, Iran announced that it had stopped oil exports to British and French companies and threatened to possibly cut its oil exports to six other EU states, including Portugal, Spain, Greece, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands.
"For sure, if the hostile measures of some other European countries (against Iran) is continued, the oil exports to these countries will be stopped," Iran's Deputy Oil Minister Ahmad Qalebani was quoted as saying by Mehr news agency.
If the EU states stop "hostile measures," Iran is ready to renew its oil contracts with those countries, said Qalebani, who is also the managing director of National Iranian Oil Company.
Following the remarks of Iran's oil minister, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that Iran is not concerned about sanctions on its oil sales by the West.
Iran has enough reserves of foreign currencies and even if it could not sell one barrel of its oil for 2 or 3 years, it would be able to manage its economy and withstand the sanctions, Ahmadinejad made the remarks in Iran's southern port city of Bandar Abbas broadcast live on state-run IRINN TV.
Iran will defend its rights and will never allow any one to forfeit its rights, he argued with regard to the Western pressures over its controversial nuclear program.