Eni's Iran oil imports stall despite EU clearance

August 13, 2012 15:45

LONDON - Italy's Eni has been unable to import Iranian oil for a second month running, due to bank payment and insurance problems, despite having European Union clearance to receive the oil to recover $1 billion in debts, industry sources said.

An EU ban on imports of oil from Iran came into force on July 1, but the bloc exempted Eni to allow it to recoup long-standing debts it is owned by Tehran for work it undertook in the energy sector, which are being paid in oil.

The West is seeking to stifle Tehran's finances to prevent it from developing an atomic bomb, while Tehran says its nuclear activities are peaceful.

EU measures have stopped European firms, which dominate the marine insurance sector, from offering cover on Iranian crude. Industry watchers say the measure has proved to be the hardest hitting in the West's arsenal of sanctions.

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