Rajavi condemns plan to decentralize Iran's oil industry
Iranian people will not recognize oil contracts with mullahs' regime

Mr. Massoud Rajavi, President of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, condemned the unpatriotic plan to "decentralize" Iran's oil industry, made public recently by the clerical regime. According to this plan, the industry will be handed over to "small, semi-private business units."

Mr. Rajavi said: The mullahs' regime is taking advantage of the power struggle within the regime over the elections for the Assembly of Experts, the fatwa to murder Salman Rushdie, and the foolish intimidation of Afghanistan, to push through its plan to decentralize the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and remove any obstacles which stand on the way.

In order to secure the resources to pay for the government's daily expenditures, the mullahs are not only offering at very low prices the oil which is to be extracted in the future, but are also auctioning the country's underground resources, the NCR President added.

Mr. Rajavi said: Because of the mullahs' backward and medieval policies, foreign companies ignore the regime's proposed contracts, however. Khatami's government is planning to decentralize the NIOC and put the offshore oil fields at the disposal of "small, semi-private business units," which are mostly owned by the regime's leaders, including Rafsanjani's family. This is done to pave the way for signing contracts, through these so-called private business units, to create unlimited partnership with foreign companies and circumvent the secondary sanctions imposed by the United States.

Addressing the regime's foreign interlocutors, Mr. Rajavi declared: Those who do business with the religious, terrorist dictatorship ruling Iran must know that this regime is running out of time. He cited different United Nations resolutions, including one paragraph from Resolution 1457, of November 25, 1966, which confirm the "non-transferable rights of countries on permanent sovereignty over their natural resources." Mr. Rajavi stressed: The people of Iran consider this regime and its commitments devoid of legitimacy and credibility.

The French News Agency reported on August 2 that the regime had "postponed an offer to put up around 20 offshore and onshore oil and gas projects, estimated to be worth between five to eight billion dollars, for international tender because of lack of enthusiasm from potential bidders."

During the October 4 session of the mullahs' Majlis, the Director for the Planning and Budget Organization told the deputies that "due to a sharp drop in oil prices, the government is facing a budget deficit of 18,930 billion rials in the current year..." According to bill which he presented to the Majlis, "the deficit will be erased by selling government bonds, advance sale of one billion dollars worth of crude oil, advance sale of services for the Hajj to 300,000 applicants, with each person paying eight million rials, 3,000 billion rials worth of cost-cutting measures in expenditures of government-owned companies and a 6,000 billion-rial-loan from the Central Bank." He emphasized that if this bill is not ratified by October 12, the government would not be able to pay its bills, including salaries of government employees, educational expenditures and retirement pensions.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
October 9, 1998

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