Sunday, February 5, 2012

Europe desperate to buy time for Iran oil ban: MP

The European Union imposed an oil embargo on Iran on January 23, 2011

Source: Press TV

senior Iranian lawmaker says the envoys of four European states to Tehran have called for a revision in the Islamic Republic's plan to impose a ban on Iran's crude oil exports to Europe.

Deputy Chairman of Iran Majlis Energy Committee Nasser Soudani said on Saturday, “So far the ambassadors of several European countries such as France, Greece, Germany and Italy have desperately rushed to the parliament to call for restraint against passing a bill on stopping [the Iranian] oil exports to Europe.”

On Saturday, January 28, Majlis Energy Committee said it has finalized a draft bill to put an end to the country's oil exports to the EU member states.

The committee added that based on the double-urgency bill, the Islamic Republic would halt all oil exports to the European countries as long as they continue to ban oil imports from Iran.

In their January 23 meeting in Brussels, EU foreign ministers imposed new sanctions on Iran which include a ban on purchasing oil from the country, a freeze on the assets of Iran's Central Bank within the EU, and a ban on the sale of diamonds, gold and other precious metals to Iran.

The sanctions will become fully effective on July 1, 2012, to give EU member states enough time to adjust to new conditions and find alternative crude oil supplies.

Soudani further highlighted that the double-urgency bill is still on the table and that the Iranian lawmakers have expressed readiness to approve it.

The lawmaker, however, added that Iran's Majlis does not aim to “enter into war with the world,” stressing that the European countries have created tensions.

The United States, Israel and some of their allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program and have used this pretext to impose four rounds of sanctions and a series of unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Iran has refuted the allegations, arguing that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Tehran is entitled to use nuclear technology for peaceful use.

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