Rostam Ghassemi

Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Ghassemi says international sanctions against Iranian oil are unlikely because such actions would wreak havoc in the global market.

IRNA reports that Ghassemi, who had travelled to Austria to participate in the 160th meeting of OPEC members, said on Thursday: “[Putting] sanctions on Iranian oil is not a wise move, and the market would pay a high price for it.”

Ghassemi has been quoted as saying there will be no replacement for Iranian oil in the market. “I believe Iranian oil has a unique place in the market, and in terms of its volume and quality there is no replacement for it.”

Despite recent talk about imposing sanctions on Iranian oil, European Union members have yet to reach a consensus in this regard. With some EU members heavily dependent on Iranian oil, a European boycott of Iran’s energy sector is problematic.

While there has been mention of Saudi Arabia selling more crude oil in the possible absence of Iranian oil, Ghassemi indicated that “the Saudi Oil Minister has completely rejected such an approach.” Ghassemi added: “Iran-Saudi relations are on excellent terms.”

The Iranian Oil Minister also emphasized that Iran has no intention of blocking the Strait of Hormuz.

Some Iranian officials have been quoted as saying that increased international pressure on Iran could be countered by blocking the Strait of Hormuz, the vital seaway for the delivery of oil from the Persian Gulf region.

In addition to Ghassemi, Iran’s Foreign Ministry also has said that Iran has no intention of blocking the Hormuz Strait.