Iran's oil exports have declined by 40 percent due to intensifying Western sanctions, Iranian oil minister Rostam Qasemi told the country's parliament's budget and planning commission on Monday, according to the ISNA news agency.

Over the last 9 months "there has been a 40% decline in oil sales and a 45% decrease in repatriating oil earnings," Qasemi was quoted as saying. He previously had insisted that Western economic pressure was not significantly impeding Iran exports.

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