Iran is having problems selling its oil, AFP quoted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying Tuesday, in the latest high-level confession that Western economic sanctions are taking their toll on the Iranian economy.

"There are some problems in selling oil and we are trying to manage it," Ahmadinejad said on state television, according to AFP. US-led sanctions against Iran have aimed to force it to shut down its illicit nuclear program, which Western countries believe could be aimed at producing nuclear weapons. Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful.

According to the report, Ahmadinejad also outlined ways his country is working to bypass the sanctions, including telling "an oil ship which route it takes."

The Iranian president expressed confidence his country would continue to survive the Western attempts against it. "We have oil and the world needs it," he said.

Iran's economy has been hit hard in the past year by sanctions imposed over its disputed nuclear program. The country has largely been cut off from the international banking system and the rial has lost about half its value against the dollar in the free market.

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The sanctions have slashed Iran's oil exports, which in normal times accounted for nearly four-fifths of its total exports and two-thirds of government revenues. In June, Tehran admitted its oil exports had shrunk between 20 and 30 percent.

In January this year, Iran announced an 8 percent devaluation of the rial to 12,260 against the dollar and said it would enforce a single exchange rate, aiming to stamp out black market traders. But that proved impossible with the sanctions cutting inflows of hard currency into the country.

In March, authorities said they would allow free market trading to coexist with the official rate, and last month they introduced a three-tiered system; the official rate would be used to import basic goods such as meat and medicine, a rate of 15,000 to buy factory machinery and intermediate goods, and the free market rate to import luxuries and other goods.

Reuters contributed to this report

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