News Column

Iran May Barter Oil for Food and Drugs

April 22, 2013

Iran's deputy oil minister Ahmad Qalehbani has said that Iran may start bartering oil for food and drugs as the country claims $4 billion in oil sales from other countries.

On Sunday, Qalehbani told the Mehr News Agency that in addition to selling oil in major foreign currencies, bartering oil for food and drugs is possible.

Following to sanctions of the West against the Islamic Republic, Iranian officials hoped to deal with the sanctions through using the private sector, but Qalehbani's comments showed that the plan had been unsuccessful.

The official stated: "Many limitations facing the private sector have been removed," adding, "despite all the supports, the private sector has not managed to export crude oil."

According to Khabaronline website, Qalehbani referred to statistics on oil production and exports as confidential, saying: "some statistics are confidential for the country, so we can not announce some figures publicly."

Meanwhile, another Iranian deputy oil minister Javad Owji said on Saturday that Iran and Turkmenistan have agreed to barter gas for food.

The West's sanctions, which have been imposed aiming to curb Iran's nuclear activity, have caused many problems for transferring petrodollars through the banking system into Iran.

Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi has said that the oil major Royal Dutch Shell will pay its $2 billion debt to Iran soon, and that the EU and the UN have issued the permission in this regard.

Previously, Reuters had reported that the European oil company plans to settle its multi-billion-dollar debt to Iran through sending large consignments of wheat via a U.S. company to Iran.

Source: (c)2013 Trend News Agency (Baku, Azerbaijan) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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