Iran Can Do Without Oil Sales: Ahmadinejad

Iran Can Do Without Oil Sales: Ahmadinejad
Iran can manage its economy even without crude exports, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed today as Tehran cut off oil sales to Greece, the third European nation to be hit by an Iranian retaliatory measure ahead of EU's oil embargo.

Iran had warned in February that it may extend an earlier embargo imposed on Britain and France to other European countries, after the EU set a ban on Iranian oil over the country's controversial nuclear program. The EU ban is to go into effect in July.

The West suspects Iran is pursuing atomic weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

EU sanctions along with other punitive measures imposed by the United States are part of Western efforts to derail Iran's disputed nuclear program, which the West fears is aimed at developing atomic weapons. Iran insists its program is only for peaceful purposes.

Oil Minister Rostam Ghasemi announced the halt in sales to Greece today, saying that "for the time being, Iran is not selling oil to Greece."

He said the two countries had not reached an agreement for the resumption of crude exports.

Earlier in April, Iran said it had stopped selling oil to 2 Greek oil companies because they failed to pay their bills.

Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad lambasted international measures against Iran.

"They - the West - intend to impose an embargo on our oil," he said during a visit to southern province of Hormozgan.

"We have as much hard currency as we need and the country will manage well, even if we don't sell a single barrel of oil for two or three years," he insisted.
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