Uruguayan Agriculture Minister Tabare Aguerre says his country is ready to export rice to Iran in exchange for Iranian oil in the face of the US-led unilateral sanctions on Tehran. "If Iran is willing to barter oil for rice we will do it and we will take out currency from (the operation)," Reuters quoted Aguerre as saying on Friday. Uruguay, which is Latin America's top rice exporter, sold 90,000 tons of rice to Iran in 2011. Aguerre’s remarks came as the US and EU have imposed tough financial and oil sanctions against Iran since the beginning of 2012, claiming that the country’s nuclear energy program includes a military component. On Friday, US President Barack Obama approved tough measures against foreign banks and financial institutions by or through which Iran’s oil is purchased, threatening to cut them out of US financial system. Tehran refutes their claims, noting that frequent inspections by International Atomic Energy Agency have failed to prove any diversion in Iran's nuclear energy program toward military purposes. The sanctions have led to a rally in oil prices this year as markets fear supply shortages.