‘Iran world’s biggest fuel oil exporter’

File photo shows gas flare of an Iranain oil production platform.

A senior Iranian oil industry official says the Islamic Republic is the world’s leading exporter of fuel oil, selling an average of over 16 million liters per day of the product regardless of US-led sanctions.

Managing Director of the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC) Mostafa Kashkouli said on Tuesday that Iran has exported 16.6 million liters of fuel oil per day since the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year (starting March 20, 2012).

Noting that Iran is currently among the biggest exporters of fuel oil in the world and the region, Kashkouli stated that Iran’s fuel oil conforms to the highest international standards.

The official added that Iran has sold an average of about 5 million liters of fuel oil and gasoline per day to passing vessels in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz since the beginning of the year.

The US and the EU have imposed tough sanctions against Iran’s financial and oil sectors since the beginning of 2012, claiming that the country’s nuclear energy program includes a military component.

The sanctions, which prevent other countries, including the European Union member states from purchasing Iran’s oil or extending insurance coverage for tankers carrying its crude, came into effect last summer.

On August 1, 2012, the US Congress approved more illegal embargoes against Tehran, which seek to punish banks, insurance companies, and shippers that help Tehran sell its oil.

Tehran refutes claims over its nuclear energy program, noting that frequent inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency have failed to prove any diversion in Iran’s nuclear energy program toward military purposes.