TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Oil Ministry Spokesman Alireza Nikzad Rahbar said some European countries have voiced their willingness to purchase Iran's crude oil, but Tehran prefers to sell its oil to those countries which have supported Tehran at the time of western sanctions.
"At present, Iran's oil export priority is given to the countries which cooperated with us during crisis," Nikzad Rahbar said.
Iran has rejected the European countries' request for purchasing the Iranian oil, adding, the Iranian spokesman added.
He further stressed that Iran plans to remain a reliable and long-term energy supplier for different countries, particularly in the Southeast and East Asia.
The United States in November expanded sanctions on global trade with Iran's energy and shipping sectors to ratchet up economic pressure on Tehran over its civilian nuclear program.
Washington and its Western allies accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program, while they have never presented any corroborative evidence to substantiate their allegations. Iran denies the charges and insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.
Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.
After the UN Security Council ratified a sanctions resolution against Iran on June 9, 2010, the United States and the European Union started approving their own unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic over its civilian nuclear program, mostly targeting the country's energy and banking sectors, including a US boycott of gasoline supplies to Iran.
The US Senate passed a legislation to expand sanctions on foreign companies that invest in Iran's energy sector and those foreign companies that sell refined petroleum to Iran or help develop its refining capacity.