Reuters: Iran’s OPEC governor has warned that any Western sanctions on investments in its energy sector could endanger security of supply and hit also consumer countries, an Iranian daily reported on Thursday. TEHRAN, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Iran’s OPEC governor has warned that any Western sanctions on investments in its energy sector could endanger security of supply and hit also consumer countries, an Iranian daily reported on Thursday.
Hossein Kazempour Ardebili declined to say whether he believed the world’s fourth-largest crude producer should use oil as a weapon in case of more U.N. sanctions on the country in its dispute with the West over Tehran’s atomic activities.
He told the Iran daily he did not believe the country should deprive itself of tools at its disposal but also suggested that any such action may hurt Iran too.
“It should be said that making a decision that would harm the other party can (also) harm one self,” Iran quoted Kazempour Ardebili as saying in an interview.
His comments were published a few days before world powers are expected to meet in Berlin to discuss a possible third sanctions resolution on the Islamic Republic over its refusal to halt work the West suspects is aimed at making bombs.
Iran says it only aims to generate electricity.
Sanctions so far have not directly targeted the oil and gas sector in OPEC’s number two producer. But the United States is seeking to discourage international oil companies from doing business with Iran.
Kazempour Ardebili said he did not believe the U.N. Security Council would be able to agree on fresh sanctions, saying it was unlikely that Russia and China would back such measures. “My belief is that a third resolution won’t be passed.”
If OPEC’s second-largest producer “should supply oil there can’t be any sanctions on investments,” he said.
“The big consumers of the world should answer this question: how can there be a need for oil and gas and at the same time limit the country with the second-largest reserves and a big producer of oil and gas?”
“Therefore in these conditions the security of supply would be in danger. We know that everybody will pay for this rise in expenses,” Kazempour Ardebili said.
Analysts say Iran needs major foreign investment accompanied with expertise to substantially increase oil production.
Germany said on Wednesday it wanted a new U.N. resolution against Iran and major powers plan to meet in Berlin next Tuesday to discuss strategy.
China and Russia, veto-wielding U.N. Security Council members, have balked at more sanctions resolutions, particularly after a recent U.S. intelligence estimate said Iran stopped an active nuclear arms drive in 2003.
Several diplomats said Russia in particular had issues with Western proposals to impose sanctions on two more Iranian banks. (Reporting by Zahra Hosseinian; Writing by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by James Jukwey)