And after the European Union enforced a total ban on oil imports from Iran in July, authorities countered by saying they would build new oil storage facilities so that Iran would be able to store its oil while it negotiates with foreign partners.
Iran has the world's third largest proven oil reserves and was OPEC's second largest exporter, but sanctions have stymied the flow since summer. Tehran slipped to the cartel's third place after the EU oil sanctions were enforced.
"What we could not achieve in about two decades was achieved in one and a half years," Naqdi said, citing gasoline production as an example. Iran had tried to be self-sufficient in gasoline production since 1991, but only said it achieved that level in 2010, two years after the first gasoline bans were imposed.
Iran is doing so well under the sanctions, Naqdi insisted, it should not seek to have them lifted.
"If I were in the place of authorities, I would not demand the lifting of the sanctions," he said. "I would instead tell our enemies to impose sanctions as much as they can, because we will discover our hidden capabilities."