DUBAI - Iran should stop exporting crude oil and instead try to sell refined oil products, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying on Tuesday, a day after the United States moved to tighten sanctions on its energy sector.
"We must stop the exports of crude oil," he was quoted as saying by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). "We must go in such a direction that we do not export crude oil, and this is doable through the development of refineries and distribution."
Ahmadinejad was speaking on Tuesday at a ceremony marking the opening of an oil refinery in the capital Tehran, IRNA said, which forms part of Tehran's response to its domestic gasoline supply problems.
In his speech, Ahmadinejad complained that the price of oil was being kept artificially low by world powers. "The price of oil is political and not based on economics, and if pricing were based on reality, the price of oil would be much greater than the prices in the markets now," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.