ANKARA (Reuters) - Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to quit a multinational nuclear deal would not affect Tehran's oil exports.
"Trump's decision will not have any impact on our oil export ... that era is history now," he told state television.
Trump announced a U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal on Tuesday and said he was preparing new sanctions against Iran.
Zanganeh said foreign investment was needed to develop Iran's its oil industry, but that it could survive even if foreigners decided to stay away for fear of U.S. penalties.
"If foreigners invest in Iran, it will accelerate the development of our oil sector but, if not, we will not die," he said.
The U.S. Treasury said on Tuesday that the United States would reimpose a wide array of Iran-related sanctions after the expiry of 90- and 180-day wind-down periods, including sanctions aimed at Iran's oil sector and transactions with its central bank.
In reaction to a Tweet last month by Trump that accused OPEC of "artificially" boosting oil prices, Zanganeh said "Trump is not honest about oil prices ... He wants higher prices".
Crude prices slipped on Thursday, giving up early gains as investors took profits on a rally triggered by potential disruption to oil flows from Iran.
"I personally prefer a stable crude price of $65 per barrel," Zanganeh said.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, however, is in no hurry to decide whether to pump more oil to make up for an expected drop in exports from Iran, four sources familiar with the issue said, saying any loss in supply would take time.
(Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Kevin Liffey, Editing by William Maclean)
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Updated Date: May 11, 2018 01:05 AM