U.S. officials and industry officials say Iran is likely to start producing oil in the coming weeks as part of a $1.5 trillion plan to restart a struggling economy.
The U.N. energy agency said Wednesday that Tehran is on track to begin pumping oil into the Persian Gulf, where the U.E. and U.K. have been trying to curb the country’s stockpile of crude.
The Iranian government has denied that it plans to export crude, but the government says it is pumping billions of dollars of oil into foreign markets in order to diversify the economy and boost exports.
The Iranian oil minister told Iranian state television on Tuesday that Iran will start producing at least 100 million barrels of oil per day this year, the first time it has produced oil since mid-2015.
“Iran is now exporting a lot of oil to countries like Russia, Brazil, China and Russia, and this oil will be pumped into the international market,” Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told state television.
Iran is expected to receive about $1 billion of U.M.N.’s $1 trillion (U.S.) oil loan this year.
Iran has been struggling to restore its economy since the U-N.
imposed economic sanctions on Tehran in 2013 over its disputed nuclear program.
Its economy has shrunk by more than 50 percent since then.
The government has repeatedly said it will not produce any more oil as part to cut the budget deficit, but critics have questioned the accuracy of its assurances.