09:06 GMT20 October 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Tehran should focus on developing domestic production while the West's sanctions remain in full force, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh said on Tuesday.

    "We should seize the opportunity to develop domestic production and technologies in this regard," Zangeneh said during the inauguration ceremony of the country's sixth oil rig, as quoted by the Mehr news agency.

    Iran is currently subject to some of the strictest economic sanctions imposed by Western nations, mainly the United States. Despite this, the nation's top officials, including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, have repeatedly said that the sanctions are an opportunity to focus on internal potential and reduce the economy's dependence on the global oil industry.

    The sanctions against Iran were reintroduced by the United States in the wake of Washington's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018. The restrictions target Iran's economy, energy, financial and transportation sectors, among others.

    In May 2019, Iran started to gradually reduce its commitments to maintain the peaceful nature of its nuclear program under the JCPOA.

    The government announced last month that it was discontinuing all remaining obligations under the deal, but said it would return to full compliance if sanctions were lifted. In the meantime, Tehran pledged to continue cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

    oil, sanctions, Bijan Zangeneh, Iran
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