The government of Iran has long held that the U.S. and European sanctions being imposed on the country have had little impact on the Iranian economy. But in a report to the country’s parliament, the Iranian oil minister said that over the past nine months the country’s oil sales have dropped by 40% and repatriated earnings from the sales have dropped by 45%.
The sanctions, which have been imposed to bring a halt to Iran’s nuclear program, have led to a cut of at least 50% in Iranian exports, from about 2.2 million barrels a day a year ago to around 1 million barrels a day now. The Wall Street Journal also reports that the oil minister has said that Iran has invested $25 billion in oil and gas exploration projects since March of last year.
New sanctions adopted by the U.S. last week are even harsher than the current prohibition on oil purchases from Iran. New prohibitions have been levied against aluminum, steel, coal and other materials critical to manufacturing construction goods and vehicles.
Iran’s currency has lost 40% of its value since last August. New negotiations on the country’s nuclear development program are expected to begin by the end of this month.