Reuters: Iran, faced with likely Security Council debate next week over its nuclear programme, said on Wednesday it would have to review its oil export policy if world pressure mounted over its disputed atomic work. VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran, faced with likely Security Council debate next week over its nuclear programme, said on Wednesday it would have to review its oil export policy if world pressure mounted over its disputed atomic work.
Asked whether Iran would use an “oil weapon” as the world’s fourth largest crude oil exporter, Javad Vaeedi, deputy secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, told Reuters: “We will not (do so now), but if the situation changes, we will have to review our oil policies.”
Vaeedi was speaking in Vienna as the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 35-nation board of governors held a debate on Iran as a prelude to Security Council involvement, which it called for in a resolution passed a month ago.
Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, had said on Sunday that Tehran was not keen to use oil as a weapon in its escalating row with the West “but if conditions change it could affect our decision”.
He did not specify what he meant by a change in conditions.
The IAEA reported Iran to the Security Council, which is empowered to impose sanctions, after failing to convince many countries that it is developing nuclear energy for power stations and not for warheads.
Iran is the fourth biggest oil exporter in the world and the second largest in the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). There is broad international concern that isolating Iran could drive up already high oil prices.