TEHRAN (Dispatches) – Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says Iran can export as much oil as it needs.
"America's efforts in sanctioning the sale of Iranian oil won't get anywhere," Ayatollah Khamenei said at a meeting with a large group of Iranian workers on Wednesday and added, "We can export as much of our oil as we need and want."
Washington announced its decision not to reissue waivers on Iranian oil sanctions after they expire in May.
In addition, Washington announced that the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates would ensure that the global oil market would remain "adequately supplied".
"In the first place, such attempts will lead nowhere, and we are capable of exporting as much oil as we need and want,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
The Leader warned that "this act of hostility will not go unanswered,” emphasizing that the Iranian nation "will not sit idly by” in the face of its enemies.
Ayatollah Khamenei further said the enemies have recurrently failed in their attempts to bring the Iranian nation to its knees.
They are now resorting to economic pressure to achieve that end, but will once again fail to do so, the Leader added.
"They (enemies) imagine they’ve blocked [our] way, but our vigorous nation and vigilant authorities will overcome the dead-ends if they put their efforts into this,” the Leader added.
Ayatollah Khamenei, however, called for collective efforts to reduce domestic dependence on oil.
The Leader said American and Zionist regime officials claim that they are the enemies of the Iranian government and not of the Iranian people, "however, enmity with the Islamic Republic is enmity with the Iranian nation because the Islamic Republic is standing thanks to the support of the people.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said that although the U.S. sanctions against Iran have caused problems, they would benefit the country if "correctly and logically” dealt with.
"Sanctions lead to reliance on domestic power, capacity, and initiatives,” he said.
The Leader said Iran appreciated a lower reliance on oil sales and considered it as "a kind of opportunity” to focus more on its domestic capabilities.
Ayatollah Khamenei said that the recent measures against Iran were the enemies’ "last breaths of enmity” and that they would "ultimately grow tired of hostility toward the Iranian nation.”
The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has said it seeks to stop Iranian oil sales by imposing sanctions on countries that continue purchasing Iranian crude after May 1.
In May last year, Washington unilaterally withdrew from a multilateral deal with Iran that mainly guarantees Iran’s oil sales in return for a number of concessions by Iran and the lifting of U.S. sanctions on the country.
Tehran and the other parties to the deal, including European countries, have remained in the deal.
Previously, the U.S. had issued waivers to its sanctions for eight major buyers of Iranian crude.
Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh slammed the U.S. and its allies for using oil as a political "weapon” to put more economic pressure on the Islamic Republic, emphasizing, however, that Washington will never be able to achieve its "dream” of cutting Tehran’s oil exports to "zero.”
"Definitely, [the U.S.] dream of bringing Iran’s oil exports to zero will never come true and we will work with full force toward breaking America’s sanctions,” Zangeneh told a parliamentary session.
"The situation of oil supply and demand is very fragile in the current circumstances and statements by the US and its allies expose their concerns over the market’s reaction,” said the minister, a day after Washington said it would be ending waivers that allow eight countries to buy Iranian oil without facing Washington’s sanctions.
"The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates ... along with our friends and allies, are committed to ensuring that global oil markets remain adequately supplied,” the White House statement said, adding, "We have agreed to take timely action to assure that global demand is met as all Iranian oil is removed from the market.”
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei meets with a group of workers in Tehran, Iran, April 24, 2019.