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Posts Tagged ‘Iran Oil’

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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Europe Agrees On Iran Oil Import Ban

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 4, 2012

(Reuters) – European governments have agreed in principle to ban imports of Iranian oil, EU diplomats said Wednesday, dealing a blow to Tehran that crowns new Western sanctions months before an Iranian election.

The prospective embargo by the European Union, along with tough U.S. financial measures signed into law by President Barack Obama on New Year’s Eve, form a concerted Western campaign to hold back Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran says the program is strictly non-military, but Western countries say a November U.N. report shows it has sought to build an atomic bomb. Talks between Tehran and major powers broke down a year ago.

Diplomats said EU envoys held talks on Iran in the last days of December, and that any objections to an oil embargo had been dropped – notably from crisis-hit Greece which gets a third of its oil from Iran, relying on Tehran’s lenient financing. Spain and Italy are also big buyers.

“A lot of progress has been made,” one EU diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “The principle of an oil embargo is agreed. It is not being debated any more.”

A U.S. Treasury official said Washington supported the European proposal to ban purchases of Iranian crude and believes Tehran’s oil revenues can be choked off without disrupting global oil markets.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will travel to China and Japan next week to discuss U.S. sanctions on Iran and the state of the global economy, the Treasury Department said.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Iran Threatens to Block Oil Shipments, as U.S. Prepares Sanctions

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 28, 2011

By  and ANNIE LOWREY

Iran's Navy Commander Admiral Habibollah Sayari points at a map during a press conference in Tehran on December 22, 2010, as saying that Iran will launch 10 days of naval drills from December 24, covering east of Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman to the Gulf of Aden. (Hamed Jafarnejad/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — A senior Iranian official on Tuesday delivered a sharp threat in response to economic sanctions being readied by the United States, saying his country would retaliate against any crackdown by blocking all oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz, a vital artery for transporting about one-fifth of the world’s oil supply.

The declaration by Iran’s first vice president, Mohammad-Reza Rahimi, came as President Obama prepares to sign legislation that, if fully implemented, could substantially reduce Iran’s oil revenue in a bid to deter it from pursuing a nuclear weapons program.

Prior to the latest move, the administration had been laying the groundwork to attempt to cut off Iran from global energy markets without raising the price of gasoline or alienating some of Washington’s closest allies.

Apparently fearful of the expanded sanctions’ possible impact on the already-stressed economy of Iran, the world’s third-largest energy exporter, Mr. Rahimi said, “If they impose sanctions on Iran’s oil exports, then even one drop of oil cannot flow from the Strait of Hormuz,” according to Iran’s official news agency. Iran just began a 10-day naval exercise in the area.

In recent interviews, Obama administration officials have said that the United States has developed a plan to keep the strait open in the event of a crisis. In Hawaii, where President Obama is vacationing, a White House spokesman said there would be no comment on the Iranian threat to close the strait. That seemed in keeping with what administration officials say has been an effort to lower the level of angry exchanges, partly to avoid giving the Iranian government the satisfaction of a response and partly to avoid spooking financial markets.      Read the rest of this entry »

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