WASHINGTON - The United States supports a European proposal to ban purchases of Iranian crude and believes Tehran's oil revenues can be choked off without disrupting global oil markets, a US Treasury official said on Wednesday.
The official, who requested anonymity, said a well-timed, phased-in effort to curtail purchases of Iranian crude could avoid market disruptions, and noted that new US sanctions legislation envisions a phased-in approach.
"The United States is interested in maintaining the stability of global oil markets, a goal shared by other oil producing and consuming nations," the official said.
European Union governments have reached a preliminary agreement to ban imports of Iranian crude but have yet to decide when an embargo would be put in place, EU diplomats said on Wednesday. The news pushed up oil prices.