Iran stopped placing orders for gasoline from external markets last month, the country's oil minister announced. Iranian Oil Minister Masoud Mir Kazemi said that with domestic refineries churning out more gasoline, his country no longer needed to place orders with overseas suppliers.
"We have not placed an order for the purchase of gasoline for one month," he was quoted by the semiofficial Mehr News Agency as saying.
The United States and the European Union in July followed the U.N. Security Council by imposing sanctions on Iran that target the country's energy sector. Western allies believe Iran is working on the technology needed to make a nuclear weapon, though Tehran maintains its intentions are peaceful. Iran sits on some of the largest oil and gas reserves in the world, though its refining capacity inhibits full utilization.
Kazemi this month said, however, that domestic refining capacity had increased to the point that Iran was self-sufficient in gasoline.The Iranian Oil Ministry said gasoline production was up to 17.5 million gallons per day under a plan meant to reduce foreign dependency.