Iran says plans to raise crude oil production

Iran's oil minister has said the country plans to increase its oil production capacity to up to 5.2 million barrels per day by early 2016.

A Sunday report by state TV quotes Rostam Ghasemi as saying this requires some $300 billion investment in the oil industry.

He says current capacity is about four million barrels per day.

The remarks come as the country is struggling to sell crude oil due to Western sanctions over its disputed nuclear program, which the West suspects has a military dimension. Iran denies the charge.

According to the International Energy Agency, Iran's oil exports plunged to 1 million barrels a day in July, after standing at the 1.74-million-barrel mark a month earlier. Crude oil exports account for about 80 percent of the country's foreign revenue.