BRUSSELS - A ban on Iranian oil imports to press Tehran to abandon its nuclear activity would not be a problem for the European Union as supplies could always been bought elsewhere, the EU's energy commissioner said.
EU countries have been discussing a further extension of sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program and France has been pushing for this to include a ban on imports of Iranian oil.
Asked if such an embargo would hurt EU energy security, EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger told Reuters: "This is not a problem. It can be substituted by OPEC and others."
The United States stopped buying Iranian crude in the 1990s, but there is less appetite elsewhere in the West for the French proposal of a wider import ban, with British sources saying that London's latest sanctions were not meant to target oil.