Iran's top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday that the country's oil and gas reserves will dry up eventually, thereby justifying Teheran's need to produce nuclear fuel so the country would not have to "beg the West" for it, state-run television reported.
"Oil and gas reserves won't last forever. If a nation doesn't think of producing its future energy needs, it will be dependent on domination-seeking powers," the television quoted Khamenei as saying.
Iran produces 4.2 million barrels of oil per day, the second largest exporter of crude among the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, and possesses the world's second biggest natural gas reserves in the world.
The country's recoverable oil reserves are estimated at 137 billion barrels, or 12 percent of the world's overall oil reserves. Iran's gas reserves are believed to stand at 28 trillion cubic meters.