Ahmadinejad: Cash reserves will sustain Iran if oil sales stop

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday said an oil embargo against Iran would not harm his country for up to three years in the latest public wrangling before Friday’s negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program between Tehran and six world powers.

The European Union is set to begin an oil embargo against Iran in July, as part of increasing sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program. That comes on top of sanctions the United States enacted that target Iran’s oil exports by clamping down on foreign banks doing business with the Central Bank of Iran.


But the Iranian president said Tuesday that his country has “so much capital” that it would not have problems if all of its oil exports stopped for two to three years, according to the semi-official FARS News Agency.

"Some people think that they can trouble Iran through oil sanctions but I should say that we have so much reserves that even if we don't sell oil for two to three years, the country will be administered easily," Ahmadinejad said while speaking in southern Iran.

Iran’s currency, however, plummeted in recent months against the dollar after the U.S. sanctions were enacted. The International Energy Agency has said the sanctions against Iran could cost it as much as 1 million barrels per day, amounting to 40 percent of its exports, according to Reuters.

Iran is set to restart negotiations with the P5+1 group — the five permanent United Nations Security Council members plus Germany — this week in Istanbul. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only, while the United States and its allies suspect Iran is seeking nuclear weapons.