World can`t do without Iran oil: Tehran official

Iran has repeatedly denied the programme has any military dimensions to it.

Last Updated: Nov 25, 2011, 19:36 PM IST

Tehran: Iran`s oil and gas reserves are so
vast they cannot be excluded from the world market as France
is urging the West to do, Mehr news agency on Friday quoted the
National Iranian Oil Company head as saying.

"Iran possesses massive oil and gas reserves... Thus
ignoring Iran in oil and gas exchange will not be acceptable
(by the international community)," said Ahmad Qalebani, who is
also a deputy oil minister.

France`s announcement that it would soon stop
importing oil from Iran was hollow, he added.

"The National Iranian Oil Company does not export any
crude oil to France that could be subject to sanctions," he
said.

France yesterday said it would stop buying Iranian
oil. The foreign ministry said the move would be organised "in
liaison with the European partners."

France has called on other Western nations to put in
place an embargo on Iran`s oil exports.

According to the US Energy Information Agency, France
imports the equivalent of 49,000 barrels of Iranian crude per
day, a tiny fraction of Iran`s oil exports.

France`s move followed coordinated announcements by
the United States, Britain and Canada on Monday saying they
were slapping additional unilateral sanctions on Iran`s
financial sector.

The United States and Canada also unveiled extra
sanctions targeting Iran`s petrochemical and oil and gas
sectors.

The United States already has no dealings with Iranian
energy companies. Its additional measures were aimed at
dissuading foreign firms from doing business with Iran if they
wanted to have access to the US market.

Qalebani said Canadian sanctions on the sale of
petrochemical technology and equipment were only words.

"Iran does not import any oil and gas equipment from
Canada. This country has no role in supplying parts and
equipment to Iran`s oil industry," he said.

The Western countries are imposing the unilateral
sanctions to ramp up the pressure on Iran over its nuclear
programme, which they fear is being used to develop atomic
weapons.

Iran has repeatedly denied the programme has any
military dimensions to it.

PTI