Iran has retained its position as the top steel producer in the Middle East, Managing-Director of Mobarakeh Steel Company Mohammad Massoud Sameenejad said, adding that the country accounts for the production of more than half of the region\'s steel output. \"Iran produces more than 60 percent of raw steel in the Middle East and North Africa,\" Sameenejad said on Monday. Earlier this year, a report by the World Steel Association (WSA) announced Iran as the largest steel producer in the Middle-East and North Africa. According to the WSA report, Iran produced 14.463 million tons of crude steel in 2012, and was named as the first largest producer of crude steel in the Middle-East and North Africa. The country\'s main steel mills are located in Isfahan and Khuzestan provinces. Iran has risen its steel production output by more than 9 percent, the WSA announced in January, adding that the country is now the world\'s 15th steel producer. Among 62 world major steel producers, Iran jumped two steps higher and became the world\'s 15th steel producer in 2012, the report said. Iran ranked above UK, Spain and Canada. Last year, an Iranian official announced that the production of steel in Iran has grown 5 million tons in the past two years despite the harsh sanctions imposed by the West against the country. \"Despite the intensified sanctions during the last two years, the capacity of Iran\'s steel production has increased 5mln tons and we will be completely self-sufficient in the steel industry in the next three years,\" Vice-President of Iran\'s Steel Association Hamidreza Taherizadeh told FNA in July.