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Posts Tagged ‘Iran Oil Europe’

EU Iran Oil Embargo Sanctions ‘Unprecedented’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 23, 2012

BRUSSELS — The European Union imposed an oil embargo against Iran on Monday and froze the assets of its central bank, part of sanctions to pressure Iranian officials into resuming talks on the country’s controversial nuclear program.

The measures, approved in Brussels by the EU’s 27 foreign ministers, include an immediate embargo on new contracts for crude oil and petroleum products. Existing contracts with Iran will be allowed to run until July.

Some 80 percent of Iran’s foreign revenue comes from oil exports and any measures or sanctions taken that affect its ability to export oil could hit hard at its economy. With about 4 million barrels per day, Iran is the second largest producer in OPEC.

Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful, but the United States and other nations suspect it is trying to build nuclear weapons. Iran is now under several rounds of U.N. sanctions for not being more forthcoming about its nuclear program.

Two Iranian lawmakers, meanwhile, stepped up threats that their country would close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world’s crude flows, in retaliation for the EU oil sanctions.

Lawmaker Mohammad Ismail Kowsari, deputy head of Iran’s influential committee on national security, said Monday the strait “would definitely be closed if the sale of Iranian oil is violated in any way.”

Tensions over the strait and the potential impact its closure would have on global oil supplies and the price of crude have weighed heavily on consumers and traders. The U.S. and Britain both have warned Iran not to disrupt the world’s oil supply. Read the rest of this entry »

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