Iran denies China cut imports of its oil

DUBAI - An Iranian oil official denied major buyer China had cut imports of crude from the country in 2012, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Friday, after Chinese data showed they were a third lower in the first quarter than a year earlier.
The customs data this week showed China - until recently Iran's top customer - halved its Iranian crude imports in March compared with the same month in 2011.
Industry sources have said the reported fall, adding to Tehran's problems as it faces Western sanctions over its nuclear development program, was due to disputes over contract terms.
"Iranian crude exports to Chinese refineries have not decreased at all in the current year," the head of international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Mohsen Ghamsari, told Mehr.
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