The European Jewish Congress (EJC) on Thursday commended the European Union for agreeing in principle to ban the import of oil from Iran. EJC President Moshe Kantor said the decision announced by European officials earlier this week was an important measure that would help deter the defiant Islamic Republic from pursuing its nuclear program.

“Europe has sent an extremely important message that long-term global security should not be compromised for short-term economic interests,” said Kantor. “Although we will see a rise in oil prices in the near future, it is nothing in comparison to how a nuclear-armed Iran will be able to dictate oil prices for the foreseeable future, especially given their attempted control of vital oil shipping lines."

Italy, Spain and Greece are the biggest importers of Iranian oil in Europe which provides 5.8 percent of the continent's supply of crude petroleum. Western countries in recent years have imposed a growing number of sanctions on Tehran which they fear is trying to develop nuclear weapons.

The measures have caused the Rial, Iran's currency, to plummet in value in recent months. At the same time, Iranian threats to close the vital Straits of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf to commercial shipping have sent oil prices rocketing. European officials are set to meet in the next few months to hammer out when and how the ban will be implemented.

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