Tensions between Washington and Tehran have soared since US President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018 from Iran’s nuclear accord with six powers and reimposed US sanctions on Iran’s economy, Reuters reported.
“We are neither afraid of sanctions, nor does it affect our work; it only strengthens our determination to serve our people,” Zanganeh said.
As part of the Trump administration’s increasing economic pressure on Iran, Washington last month imposed sanctions on Iran’s Oil Ministry alongside other entities. Zanganeh was blacklisted by the US Treasury Department.
“These sanctions are a kind of revenge," the minister said. “There is nothing left for the United States to sanction… the only thing left is probably our services sector, like our kitchen staff.”
US President-elect Joe Biden, a Democrat who was vice president under former president Barack Obama, when Iran’s nuclear deal was reached, has pledged to rejoin the accord if Iran returns to compliance with it.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday the next US administration should use the opportunity to compensate for Trump’s mistakes.
In July, Zanganeh expressed the country’s resolve to develop its oil industry despite US sanctions.
He said the Islamic Republic will never give in to the restrictive measures employed by the White House and will rather pay particular attention to shared oilfields.
“It is true that our production is low today, but we should increase capacities so that we can revive our market share whenever it is necessary. We will not surrender under any circumstances. Creating greater capacity is a strategic work in the oil industry,” he added.
Iran has turned to domestic companies to advance its projects in the oil sector.