(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
TEHRAN - Iran has stopped providing fuel to European aircraft in
retaliation for their refusal to fuel Iranian aircraft, Iran's state-run
newspaper quoted a senior official as saying on Wednesday.
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"In a retaliatory move, we have stopped providing fuel to European
aircraft," said first Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, the daily
Last year, US President Barack Obama signed into law far-reaching new
sanctions on Iran that targeted the country's fuel imports, punishing
any company worldwide that exports gasoline or other refined petroleum
products to Iran.
Reports said Iranian planes had been denied fuel in Germany, Britain and a Gulf Arab state.
Iran, at loggerheads with the West over its nuclear program, has been hit by international sanctions over its uranium enrichment activities, which the West fears are part of a plan to build a nuclear bomb. Tehran denies the charge.
Iran had warned European countries in 2010 that it would take action if
some Western countries continued to refuse to supply fuel for Iranian
The US legislation did not make clear whether its new sanctions were
intended to require firms to refuse to refuel Iranian aircraft at
airports in third countries.
Iran is a crude oil producer and a member of the Organization of the
Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). But it lacks refining capacity to
meet its demand because of international sanctions and has for a long
time imported 40 percent of its gasoline needs.
The Islamic state announced in 2010 that it had started exporting the fuel.