Iran’s sacked oil minister has issued a parting warning to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, predicting a looming “catastrophe” in the Iranian energy sector because of high consumption.

“If we do not find a solution to the energy problem in the next 15 years, the country will face a catastrophe,” Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh was quoted as saying at his farewell ceremony late.

“I am ready to prove that if the fuel situation continues along current trends, we will face an energy crisis in the future,” he said. “The current pattern of consumption is a disaster for the country.”

The comments by Hamaneh, who also revealed for the first time that he was sacked in a Cabinet reshuffle last week, are a stark warning about the energy problems of a country rich in natural resources.