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Iran exports gasoline to Iraq, Afghanistan, Armenia

Iran announced last month that it had started exporting gasoline.

October 27, 2010 8:51 by

Iran has exported more than $36 million worth of gasoline to Iraq, Afghanistan and Armenia, ISNA news agency reported on Tuesday, something authorities say is a victory against sanctions.

Iran, which was long dependent on imported gasoline for 30-40 percent of its consumption, announced last month that it had started exporting the fuel. The sales were confirmed to Reuters by trade sources but they did not know at the time where the cargoes were being exported to.

“To date we have exported 32 million litres to Iraq, Afghanistan and Armenia,” said Ardeshir Mohammadi, head of Iran’s customs, according to ISNA.

Under an emergency plan to counter U.S. and European sanctions which specifically target Iran’s need to import refined fuel and stopped many companies from selling to the Islamic Republic, Iran has increased its refining capacity, mostly by converting petrochemical plants to making gasoline.

The International Energy Agency, an organisation chiefly made up of net oil importers, said in its monthly market report on Oct. 13 that Iran’s new self-sufficiency in gasoline was “unsustainable”.

Trade sources said the gasoline exported from Iran was 75 research octane number (RON), dubbed “Iraq grade” by oil traders, which is much lower in octane than the 95 RON used in many European countries.

Iran’s rulers have repeatedly shrugged off the impact of sanctions imposed on the country over its expanding nuclear work, which the West fears is a cover to build bombs. Tehran denies the charge, saying its nuclear programme is peaceful.

(Editing by Keiron Henderson)

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