October 1, 2018 / 8:55 AM / 10 months ago

Iran has no plans to cut oil output: national oil company boss

(Reuters) - Iran has no plans to cut oil production, the head of the state-run National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Ali Kardor, said on Monday, according to the Tasnim news agency.

FILE PHOTO: A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Persian Gulf, Iran, July 25, 2005. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi

The United States aims to reduce Tehran’s oil revenue to zero in an effort to force Iran’s leadership to change its behavior in the region. U.S. officials have said new sanctions will be imposed on Iran’s oil sector from Nov. 4.

However Iran is experiencing no issues with receiving income from its oil sales, Tasnim reported Kardor as saying.

Iran’s oil income has increased 40 percent in the past year, Kardor said, according to the IRIB news agency.

Kardor also said Iran may start offering oil via its stock exchange as soon as next week, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

One million barrels of oil will be offered on the stock exchange, which will only be for export, IRNA quoted Kardor as saying.

Selling oil on the stock market would allow private companies to export, part of a strategy to counter U.S. sanctions, IRNA reported.

Separately, deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi said the prospect of Iran closing the Strait of Hormuz, the strategic waterway through which one third of the world’s sea-borne oil passes every day, is not an empty threat.

“This isn’t a threat but a reality. It’s obvious that all of the countries in the Persian Gulf want to sell the oil they produce and the world needs the oil and energy of the region,” Araqchi said in an interview with RIA Novosti published by IRNA on Monday.

“If one country is prevented from selling oil as Trump wants, it is natural that it will create issues in the whole region,” he added. “This is an obvious point and doesn’t need to be proven.”

Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh; editing by Jason Neely and Jan Harvey

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