Statements by the United States that it would reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero are a “political bluff”, the head of state-run National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) said on Wednesday.
US President Donald Trump has pledged to bring Iran's oil exports down to zero.
"Trump has begun his attempts to reduce Iran's oil exports months ago and it is wrong to think that he will do something special on November 4," Kardor said, referring to the date on which the sanctions are about to kick on.
US sanctions on Iran’s oil exports are scheduled to kick in on Nov. 4.
"The American president has done whatever he can and he knows very well that bringing Iran's oil exports down to zero is a political bluff," he said.
Kardor said Iran's oil exports have only declined "very slightly" and that the country is “very solid” in terms of production outlook.
Iran also does not have any difficulty receiving payments for oil exports, he said, adding the Islamic Republic can accept payments in euros instead of dollars if necessary.
“There is no problem on this issue,” Kardor said, ISNA reported. “With European support there will not be a problem.”
The European Union said last month it was considering setting up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to facilitate trade with Iran and said it could be in place before November.
Iran produced 3.76 million barrels of crude oil in September, according to the country’s report to OPEC. Kardor said there is a capacity to raise Iran’s production to 8 million barrels per day with production enhancement methods and new technologies.
“Given that even US oil shale cannot meet the market demand in the long run, sanctions on Iran's oil and other producers will cause serious troubles for consumers in the coming years.”
The official also dismissed an International Energy Agency report that Iran’s oil exports in September had fallen to 1.6 million barrels per day, down from 2.7 million barrels per day in June.
“Given the enemies’ monitoring of our activities, no statistics can be given but the figure is not correct,” Kardor said.
Measures have been taken to insulate the oil sector against the new sanctions. Those include a plan by NIOC to sell its first crude oil cargo on the Iranian stock market or bourse on October 28.
The arrangement will allow private traders to buy Iranian crude to resell into the international market, rather than NIOC selling directly to refiners.
Kardor said selling oil on the energy stock market is profitable, but it will not be a venue for speculation.
He made the announcement on the sidelines of the 4th Iranian Petroleum and Energy Club Congress and Exhibition in Tehran, attended by foreign and domestic companies.
Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh told the event that Iran will try to find ways to finance technology and know-how through domestic markets to keep the oil flowing.
"The sanctions are certainly harmful but we should try to minimize the harm," he said.
Zangeneh said US sanctions against Iran and fellow oil producers Russia and Venezuela are destabilizing the market and driving off investment, which could lead to a supply shortage in the next few years.
"The market is smart and it realizes the sanctions impact would surface in production three years later," he said, underlining that US president is responsible for higher oil prices.
The US administration has been pushing its allies to cut Iranian oil imports and encouraging Saudi Arabia, other OPEC states and Russia to pump more oil to meet any shortfall.
European powers have been trying to salvage a nuclear accord with Iran after the United States withdrew in May.
Press TV, Reuters and ISNA contributed to this story.