TEHRAN (Reuters) – High oil prices will help Iran to cope with any new U.N. sanctions over its nuclear program, Iranian Economy and Finance Minister Davoud Danesh-Jafari was quoted on Monday as saying.
Britain and France have said they hope the United Nations Security Council will vote this week on a third round of U.N. sanctions against Iran, which the West accuses of seeking to build atomic bombs under cover of a civilian program.
“New sanctions will not harm Iran’s economy … High oil prices will help Iran to compensate,” Danesh-Jafari was quoted by the students’ news agency ISNA as saying.
Tehran insists it is seeking to master nuclear technology so it can make fuel for a planned network of nuclear power plants and save its huge oil and gas reserves for export, but has failed to convince world powers about its peaceful aims.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday world powers could pass sanctions resolutions for 100 years without deterring Iran from its nuclear work.
Oil rose above $99 a barrel on Monday but Mohammad Ali Khatibi, deputy director of international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company, said he saw no reason for OPEC oil producing countries to raise output as market supplies of crude were sufficient.