EU places embargo on Iran oil
European Union (EU) foreign ministers agreed yesterday to further sanctions against Iran for pursuing its nuclear programme and the believed production of weapons grade nuclear materials.
The EU is the second largest buyer of Iranian oil after China and accounts for about 18% of its sales. That will stop with an immediate ban on all new contracts to ‘import, purchase or transport’ Iranian crude oil and petroleum products. EU countries will have until 1st July to honour existing contracts.
The foreign ministers also agreed to freeze the assets of the Iranian central bank as well as ban the trade of gold and other precious metals.
A release on the Foreign Ministry website states that:
‘Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia-Pacific and Commonwealth of Independent States Abbas Aragchi told IRNA that sanctions on Iran have proved useless over the past three years and that the language of threat and pressure would further reinvigorate the determination of the Iranian nation to insist on its legitimate rights enshrined by Non-Proliferation Treaty.
‘Unfortunately, certain governments see the sanctions on oil and banking as a breakthrough for the dispute on nuclear program, whereas, the sanctions will drive their own crippling economies to further complications,’ Aragchi said.
He maintained that taking the line of sanctions will further deteriorate the status of the European Union facing acute problems in economic and financial sector.
Aragchi said that the European Union must show goodwill in negotiations and the way for settlement of dispute over nuclear program is open if they demonstrate goodwill.
‘Sanctions have proved ineffective in the past and will prove futile in future too,’ he said. ENDS.