An increase in Iranian oil output will boost the country’s political power, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Monday as Tehran and world powers pursue talks to lift US sanctions that have stopped it from pumping anywhere near capacity since 2018.
“Increasing Iran’s oil production capacity increases Iran’s security and political power. Oil is not just economic power,” the ministry’s website SHANA quoted Zanganeh as saying.
Iran’s oil output can easily reach 6.5 million barrels per day (bpd) when US sanctions are lifted, he said.
Former US President Donald Trump ditched Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six powers three years ago and reimposed sanctions that have crippled Iran’s oil-reliant economy.
Iranian authorities say sanctions have only delayed the moment when it will produce the oil in its vast reserves, which the world will eventually need.
Any increase in Iranian supply would be on top of extra barrels already expected from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, or OPEC+, which plans to bring back about 2 million bpd of output through July.