For the first time since the nuclear deal with the West was implemented, Iran has exported a crude oil shipment to Europe, The Associated Press (AP) reported Sunday, citing the official IRNA news agency.
IRNA quoted Deputy Oil Minister Rokneddin Javadi as saying the shipment was the first in five years and marked “a new chapter” in Iran’s oil industry.
He did not elaborate but the Iranian news agency said several western tankers have loaded Iran’s oil in recent days.
The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) recently announced that Iran met its initial obligations under the terms of the nuclear deal, enabling the implementation of the agreement and lifting of the sanctions on Iran.
The removal of the sanctions on Iran came despite a December 2 report from the IAEA which concluded that Iran made a "coordinated" effort to develop nuclear weapons in the past, although the efforts apparently ended at an early stage.
Iran plans to add one million barrels to its oil production following implementation of the nuclear deal, which lifted international sanctions in exchange for Iran restricting its nuclear activities, noted AP.
Iran expects an economic bonanza after the lifting of sanctions, which will allow it to access overseas assets and sell crude oil more freely.
Javadi said Iran has already reached agreement to export oil to France, Russia and Spain.
Since the deal with the West was announced, energy sector companies and businesses from other sectors have travelled to Iran to seek market opportunities, and several European countries have reached out as well in an attempt to restore economic and diplomatic ties with the Islamic Republic.
The country used to export 2.3 million barrels per day but its crude exports fell to 1 million in 2012. Iran’s total production currently stands at 3.1 million barrels per day, noted AP.