'Iran stops oil exports to six EU countries'

Tehran cuts exports to Netherlands, Greece, France, Portugal, Spain and Italy; export ban comes in response to sanctions by EU, US aimed at stopping Iranian nuclear program.

By REUTERS
February 15, 2012 14:47
1 minute read.
An Iranian oil worker

An Iranian oil worker 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl)

 
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TEHRAN - Iran has stopped oil exports to six European states in retaliation for European Union sanctions imposed on the Islamic state's key export, its English-language Press TV reported on Wednesday.

"Iran cuts its oil exports to six European countries," Press TV reported.

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Press TV said Iran has stopped exporting oil to Netherlands, Greece, France, Portugal, Spain and Italy.

Brent crude oil prices were up $1 a barrel to $118.35 shortly after the announcement.

In January, the EU's 27 member states decided to stop importing crude from Iran starting July 1. The ban is an attempt to pressure Iran over its disputed nuclear program, which the West says is aimed at building bombs. Iran denies this.

The EU's ban came after US President Barack Obama signed new sanctions into law on New Year's Eve that would block any institution dealing with Iran's central bank from the US financial system.

If fully implemented, these measures will make it impossible for countries to buy Iranian oil.

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Iran's oil minister said on February 4 that the Islamic state would certainly cut its oil exports to "some" European countries.

"Our oil exports will certainly be cut to some European countries ... We will decide about other European countries later," Qasemi told a news conference, IRNA reported.

However, analysts say the global oil market would not be greatly affected if Iran were to turn off the oil tap to Europe.

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