Tehran (AsiaNews) - Iranian oil sales are down 40% and net profits by 45% in the last nine months according to a report presented to parliament today by the oil minister, Rostam Qasemi, deputy-minister Gholam Reza Kateb told semi-official ISNA newsagency.
The fourth largest oil producer in the world, Iran has always had problems with the refining of the black gold, so much so that it imports gasoline. For political reasons the regime of the ayatollahs sells gas at low prices, but it is in short supply. It now appears that the export of oil, which is crucial for the Iranian economy, is suffering, probably as a result of sanctions imposed on Iran by Western countries because of its nuclear program.
In this framework the National Iranian Petrochemical Company (NIPC) announced its decision to invest $ 3.6 billion for the construction of 11 projects in the petrochemical industry, as reported by state PressTv. The deputy director of the NIPC, Abdolhossein Bayat, said that of the 70 petrochemical projects of the five-year plan for economic development (2010-2015), "17, worth 6 billion dollars in foreign investment, have been introduced so far , for the National Development Fund (NDF). "
The oil minister had argued in recent weeks that the country would be able to bypass the sanctions on export. A statement that the latest figures seem to contradict. The effects of the crisis is the loss of value of the national currency, the rial, against the dollar. Despite some initiatives taken by the government, the losses are close to 80%.
Another sign of the crisis is the decision, announced by the Minister, for the suspension of the supply of fuel to some airlines for unpaid bills.