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Iran’s new oil minister wants the country’s oil production to exceed four million barrels per day.

A report Saturday by the Tehran Times quoted Bijan Namdar Zanganeh as saying, “An increase in Iran’s oil output will boost [Iran’s] bargaining power in international bodies, including OPEC, thus the oil production capacity must immediately increase to above four million bpd through enhanced oil recovery techniques.”

Current production is about 2.5 million barrels a day.

Zanganeh said new development of the South Pars gas field, the giant offshore reservoir Iran shares with neighboring Qatar, could start by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (ending on March 20, 2014).

Iran has 137.6 billion barrels of proven reserves, the world’s fourth largest crude deposits, and the second largest gas reserves, estimated at 29.61 trillion cubic meters.

The country is under international sanctions for its nuclear program.

The sanctions prevent EU countries from purchasing Iran’s oil or extending insurance coverage for tankers carrying Iranian crude.

Zanganeh acknowledged that the rounds of sanctions slapped on Iran by the United States and its European allies in the past years could not be lifted overnight; however, he pledged emergency plans to help enhance oil sales.