Iran said on Tuesday new sanctions on its petrochemical sector will not stop it selling to European markets but would push up global market prices and generate more export revenues, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
(Sanctions) will certainly lead to an increase in the price of petrochemical products in the global markets and it might unwillingly be a significant contribution to our foreign exchange revenues because Iran will never lose its target markets, Deputy Oil Minister Abdolhossein Bayat told Fars.
He made the comments after Western states turned up pressure on Tehran to stop its nuclear programme which they suspect is aimed at making an atomic bomb, something Tehran denies. The new measures target, among other things, Iran's $8 billion (5.1 billion pound) petrochemicals trade.
Bayat, who is also head of the National Iranian Petrochemical Organisation (NIPO), said the new sanctions would not stop Iran exporting petrochemicals to the European Union as the NIPO was not on the EU's sanctions blacklist.
He said one of Iran's alternatives was to confront those countries which impose sanctions while the other was to circumvent them.
With the influence that we have in the global market and our good cooperation with some investor countries, there is absolutely no concern about the new sanctions because logic requires us to seek retaliatory actions, he said.
Bayat also said there was a growth in both the value and volume of Iran's petrochemical exports in the seven past months compared to the same period to last year.
Production of petrochemical products has reached 24.5 million tonnes, witnessing 2.5 percent growth, while the volume of our exports stands at 10.5 million tonnes worth $8 billion, experiencing 11 and 34 percent growth respectively.
Majid-Reza Hariri, deputy head of the Iran-China Chamber of Commerce told the semi-official Mehr news agency that the sanctions would expand trade with China.
The Chinese are interested in expanding their economic ties with us, said Hariri.
(Reporting by Hossein Jaseb; Writing by Ramin Mostafavi; editing by Keiron Henderson)