EU thinks twice about Iran oil ban

By REUTERS
December 5, 2011 19:48

 
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NEW DELHI/LONDON - The European Union is becoming skeptical about slapping sanctions on imports of Iranian oil, diplomats and traders say, as awareness grows that the embargo could damage its own economy without doing much to undercut to Iran's oil revenues.

Oil accounts for 50 percent of Iranian budget revenues, and those arguing for sanctions say they can deprive Tehran of billions of dollars and derail what the West sees as Iran's attempts to build a nuclear bomb.

But diplomats and oil industry insiders say Europe may calculate that even a small rise in oil prices as a result of an introduction of an EU-wide embargo would more than compensate Tehran for any losses from being obliged to re-route displaced supplies to Asia at discounted prices.

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