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Iran's Oil Minister Seeks Help From IRGC Controlled Firm To Export Oil


Bijan Namdar-Zanganeh, Iran's Oil Minister, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony to announce new oil and gas contracts. July 20, 2020.

Highlighting his "great efforts to circumvent the sanctions," Islamic Republic Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh disclosed that he had sought assistance from Khatam al-Anbia Headquarters (KAH) to export Iranian oil.

KAH is an Iranian engineering firm controlled by the Iranian Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC).

Speaking at a public session of Iran's Majlis Parliament on Tuesday, September 15, Namdar Zanganeh lamented Iran's "capillary oil export," and admitted, "Whatever we export is not under Iran's name."

However, the veteran minister did not elaborate on the role that the Iranian military elite and intelligence entities could play in exporting the country's crude oil.

Namdar Zanganeh complained that the government had run out of money, adding, "To carry on and develop oil projects, we need $200 billion of investment, but the government is deprived of resources to move the country forward."

In a desperate tone, Namdar Zanganeh asserted that his ministry supports "any proposal for selling Iranian crude."

Without selling oil, he argued, the country would not have resources to develop and progress.

Earlier, on August 11, Saeed Mohammad, the Commander of the IRGC-affiliated Khatam al-Anbia Headquarters, had revealed that the government owes nearly 500 trillion rials (approximately $11.9 billion) to the powerful conglomerate.

Mohammad explicitly demanded receiving crude oil and state-owned assets to settle the case.

In recent weeks, Majlis members have harshly criticized the Iranian oil minister's performance. Earlier, in a letter to the heads of the three branches of power, 114 legislators called for an investigation into Namdar Zanganeh's record.

Namdar Zanganeh, who did not engage in the debate about his performance, urged lawmakers to set aside criticism and address the sanctions and engage in what he described as an "all-out economic war. Despite the U.S. sanctions imposed on the nation, je claimed that Iran's exports of petroleum products and petrochemicals have increased, and that oil and petrochemical products had been exported through the stock exchange.

The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) announced on September 5 that the Islamic Republic managed to export $29 billion of crude oil, gas condensate, oil products, and natural gas in 2019, which was less than half of 2018 when the figure was closer to $70 billion.

The U.S. withdrew from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal with world powers in May 2018, subsequently reimposing batches of devastating economic sanctions on Tehran and suspending its oil waivers in May 2019, which banned countries from buying Iranian crude oil.

In recent months, there have been different reports on the amount of Iran's oil exports.

While some sources have reported that Iran's oil sales have fallen to less than 100,000 barrels per day (BPD), an official from the international information company' Kpler told Radio Farda on September 2 that the average Iranian oil export in the first eight months of the current year was 287,000 BPD.

On the other hand, the international Tanker Trackers company, which observes ships' movements across the globe, recently published a report showing images of sixteen tankers secretly loading Iranian oil into other vessels in the middle of the seas and oceans.

In its report, Tanker Trackers says that Iran's crude oil exports are twice what is estimated.

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