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Iran shrugs off EU oil embargo

[ 2012-07-02 10:55] 来源:中国日报网     字号 [] [] []  
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A European Union embargo on Iranian oil went into effect on Sunday, provoking anger in Teheran which says the measure will hurt talks with world powers over its sensitive nuclear activities.

Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said the Islamic republic is fully ready to confront the West's sanctions on the country's oil industry, the official IRNA news agency reported on Sunday.

Qasemi said Iran's oil has its own markets and the Iranian government has studied all the possible options in confronting the sanctions.

Iran's oil is sold in international markets, Qasemi said, adding that today the Iranian oil is purchased by several European states, some of which have been participating in the development of Iran's oil projects.

"The Islamic republic of Iran has been facing oil sanctions for several years," and oil sanctions have had no effects on the development of the Islamic republic's oil industry, the minister said.

Iran's oil exports to the EU stood at 18 percent before the EU oil embargo, and the figure is too meager compared to the amount exported to other countries across the globe, the report quoted Qasemi as saying.

Since Iran's oil is both cheap and of high quality, it has numerous customers throughout the world, the minister said, stressing that Teheran has entered negotiations with many new customers of Iranian oil.

Iranian leaders have insisted they will forge ahead with their atomic program, regardless of the Western restrictions and others imposed by the UN Security Council.

Oil market observer bodies and analysts say the embargo, coupled with US financial sanctions ramped up on Thursday, are gutting Iran's vital oil exports, which account for half of government revenues.

The International Energy Agency says Iran crude exports in May appear to have slipped to 1.5million barrels per day as the market braced for the embargo, well below the 2.1 to 2.2 million barrels per day Iran insists it continues to sell abroad.

"I do not see a problem in our enemies starting the sanctions as of today (Sunday), since these sanctions have existed for many years and nothing has happened and one should not anticipate anything new," he was quoted as saying on the website of state broadcaster IRIB.

Qasemi and other officials admitted the "illogical" embargo had reduced exports to EU nations, but they said other nations had stepped forward to buy the oil.

Before the embargo, Europe bought some 600,000 barrels per day from Iran, which sent two-thirds of its exports to China, India, Japan and South Korea.

The United States has granted exemptions to those Asian countries from its new sanction imposed on Thursday that targets foreign companies doing business with Iran.

Non-EU nations wanting to buy Iranian oil face an obstacle in insuring the tanker shipments, as more than 90 percent of such insurance is by EU companies now barred from underwriting Iran oil delivery contracts.

The EU embargo is the latest - and most punishing - of a raft of international sanctions designed to pressure Iran to curb its nuclear program.

Most of the West fears that the Islamic republic is seeking to get to the cusp of being able to make nuclear weapons, despite Teheran's repeated denials.


1. When did the oil embargo go into effect?

2. What figure did Iran crude exports slip to in May?

3. How many barrels of oil did Europe buy per day from Iran before the embargo?


1. Sunday.

2. 1.5 million barrels per day.

3. 600,000.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Iran shrugs off EU oil embargo

About the broadcaster:

Iran shrugs off EU oil embargo

Emily Cheng is an editor at China Daily. She was born in Sydney, Australia and graduated from the University of Sydney with a degree in Media, English Literature and Politics. She has worked in the media industry since starting university and this is the third time she has settled abroad - she interned with a magazine in Hong Kong 2007 and studied at the University of Leeds in 2009.