President Hassan Rouhani’s chief of staff has said October 17 that Iran is still able to sell its oil and those who try to block it do not know how it is done, according to official news website IRNA.
“Enemies tried to prevent Iran from selling its oil, but we continue to do that, and they still don’t know how Iran sells its oil”. Mahmoud Vaezi said in a speech in Garmsar, southeast of the capital Tehran.
The United States imposed full sanctions on Iran’s oil exports in May and tanker tracking firms have reported in recent months that Iran’s oil shipments have decreased to less than 300,000 barrels per day. Before the sanctions, Iran exported around two million b/pd.
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in their most recent reports have said that Iran’s GDP will decline by more than 9 percent this year, mainly due to U.S. sanctions.
But Iranian officials often tell their citizens that the situation is relatively stable and the oil sanctions are not fully effective.
Vaezi also repeated in his speech that “some people in middle and lower classes face economic problems, but these difficulties are less serious than what the enemy had predicted.”
He added that Iran is more powerful than before as “leaders of many countries were coming to meet the President (Hassan Rouhani) at the UN (in September) because of the respect Iran enjoys.”
As a sign of Iran’s power, Vaezi pointed out that 3 million Iranians have been going to Iraq for the Arbaeen pilgrimage these days. In recent years, the Iranian government has spent hundreds of million of dollars to pay for or subsidize the Shiite Arbaeen pilgrimage to holy sites in Iraq, as a sign of its power and influence in regional countries.