TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian First Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi announced that the country has totally stopped imports of gasoline after it reached self-sufficiency in supplying the countrys gasoline needs through domestic production.
"At present, the country isnt importing even a drop of gasoline," Rahimi said on Sunday.
He further highlighted Irans capabilities and economic and industrial power, saying that the Iranian oil ministry announced self-sufficiency in production of gasoline in just a short period of time after the US-sponsored sanctions were imposed on Irans energy sector.
After the UN Security Council ratified a sanctions resolution against Iran on June 9, the United States and the European Union started approving their own unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program, mostly targeting the countrys energy and banking sectors, including a US boycott of gasoline supplies to Iran.
The US Senate passed a legislation to expand sanctions on foreign companies that invest in Irans energy sector and those foreign companies that sell refined petroleum to Iran or help develop its refining capacity.
The bill, which later received the approval of the House of Representatives, said companies that continue to sell gasoline and other refined oil products to Iran would be banned from receiving Energy Department contracts to deliver crude to the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The bill was then signed into law by US President Barack Obama.
Earlier in September, Iranian Oil Minister Massoud Mir-Kazzemi announced that the country has increased domestic gasoline production to 66mln liters per day, meaning that Iran no more needs foreign imports.
Iran has increased its gasoline production by 50 percentage points to become self-sufficient in the sector, Mir-Kazzemi said at the time.
Irans daily gasoline production increased from 44 million to over 66 million litters, which means Tehran no longer has to import gasoline, he added.
Last year, Managing-Director of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company Noureddin Shahnazizade announced that Irans daily gasoline production would increase by 13 mln liters per day once the plan for the optimization of gasoline production in the existing refineries was completed.
He then pointed out that phase 1 of Abadan refinery would go online by March, adding that the refinery is to produce 6 to 7 million liters of gasoline per day.
Abadan refinery located in the oil-rich southwestern city of Abadan near the countrys Persian Gulf coasts is Irans oldest refinery which started operation in 1912.
Tehran, Tabriz, Isfahan and Bandar Abbas refineries have respectively targeted 1.8 mln, 900,000, 3 mln and 2.5 mln liters of daily increase in their output, the official went on saying at the time.
Iran also optimized Lavan, Isfahan, Tehran, Abadan and Arak refineries to increase their output respectively by 2, 6.4, 6.4, 6.2 and 11.5 mln liters.
Iran is the worlds fourth-largest exporter of crude oil but due to the lavish consumption of heavily subsidized fuel by Iranian drivers, the country is forced to import large amounts which it then sells at very cheap pump prices, burdening the budget through giant subsidies. Iran imported 22-25 million liters of gasoline per day last September.