No Policy Shift Due to Oil Slump

No Policy Shift Due to Oil Slump
No Policy Shift Due to Oil Slump

A senior advisor to the Leader said on Friday Iran will not abandon its "strategic decisions" even in the face of the decline in oil prices, which is "politically motivated."   

Ali Akbar Velayati told ISNA that "It seems the US and some of its allies are using oil as a political instrument to exert pressure on other oil-producing countries," adding that Iran has experienced low oil prices in previous decades.    

Oil has lost nearly 50 percent of its value over the past six months as a result of declining demand and a supply glut.

The decline in oil prices was accelerated following the refusal of some major oil producers, including Saudi Arabia, to cut their crude output.

"When Iran throws its support behind its regional allies, it will certainly continue such support even in a difficult financial situation. We will not change our strategic decisions; if that would be the case, such decisions will no longer be considered strategic."

Velayati was referring to Tehran's support of the Syrian government in the fight against terrorist groups, Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

He said different reasons may be behind the falling oil prices, including "pressuring us during the ongoing nuclear talks (with the major powers). It is also possible that they might want to press Iran in difficult conditions, following the same policy they adopted toward Moscow in the case of Ukraine."  

Velayati, who is the head of the Center for Strategic Research of the Expediency Council, also said, "One way out of the current situation is employing the resistance economy plan which aimed at running the country in difficult conditions without selling oil."

He was referring to a set of principles set out by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei which mainly calls for measures to help boost domestic production to reduce reliance on oil revenues and counter the West's pressure on the country.  

Elsewhere, the former foreign minister pointed to Iran's "central role" in combating terrorist groups in the region and said, "Considering Iran's independence and rising influence in the world, particularly in the (Middle East) region, Iran can play a central role on that issue and Iraqi and Syrian authorities have already acknowledged that they would have been unable to confront terrorists groups like Daesh (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) without Iran's support."