Iran is considering revising its financial and budgetary policies to remove oil income from them as a means to “counter Washington’s economic sanctions that constitute a case of terrorism,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Wednesday, as carried by the Iranian Fars news agency.
Referring to the U.S. sanctions on its oil industry and exports as “economic terrorism,” Zarif said that “We will find ways for the welfare and comfort of our nation in these hard conditions, including revising the budget and financial policies to make them oil-free.”
“They have opened economic war on our nation and we are also facing the Americans’ propaganda and attempts to spread hatred,” Fars quoted Zarif as saying during a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono as part of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Iran.
Zarif’s words echo comments from Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, who said on Wednesday: “There is no doubt that what the US has done against the Iranian nation is clear example of economic terrorism, and will be recorded in the history, but the Iranian nation have withstood these pressures,” according to the official website of the Iranian president.
After the U.S. ended all sanction waivers for Iranian oil customers on May 2, Iran’s crude oil exports dropped significantly in May 2019 compared to April and plunged by more than 2 million bpd off their 2.5-million-bpd peak in April 2018, just before the U.S. withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and moved to re-impose sanctions on Iran’s oil industry.
According to industry sources and tanker-tracking data cited by Reuters, Iran’s oil exports in May plummeted to 400,000 bpd, which is less than half of Iranian oil exports in April.
Oil income is an essential part of Iran’s state revenues and the plunging crude exports are crippling the economy.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Iran’s economy is expected to shrink by 6 percent this year, while the annual inflation will spike to 37.2 percent.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.