S. Africa 'confident' of solution to Iran oil ban

CAPE TOWN  - South Africa, which receives a quarter of its crude from Iran, is holding almost daily discussions with the United States, EU Union and Iran about reducing its purchases and is "confident" a deal can be struck to avert US sanctions, a senior energy official said on Thursday.
Washington, which with the EU is putting pressure on Iran to end activities that they believe may be a front for nuclear weapons research, has threatened to penalize the banks of countries that do not significantly cut oil imports from Iran.
But Africa's biggest economy, which has suffered fuel shortages in the past because of strikes and refinery problems, may struggle to offset any reduction in imports from Iran to secure a waiver from these sanctions.
"Engagements continue, they are continuing probably on a daily basis with all these players and we are, I must say, confident we will find a solution, as the minister indicated, that will work for South Africa," Tseliso Maqubela, a deputy director general at the Energy Department, told reporters.