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Iran cuts oil exports to two EU countries
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2012-04-11 00:58
In a pre-emptive move, Iran announced on Tuesday it has cut oil exports to two more European Union (EU) countries, Greece and Spain.
Iran's Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said Tuesday that his country has stopped oil exports to Greece, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
Rostam Qasemi said that Iran does not sell oil to a number of European countries and "currently, the oil of Iran is not exported to Greece," said the report.
The oil minister downplayed the impact of oil sanctions on the country, saying that despite the recent ban imposed by the EU on Iran's oil exports, Tehran faces no problems in selling its oil.
"There has been no problem in selling oil products to other countries though the country is under oil sanctions for many years, " said the minister, adding that "these sanctions have had the least impacts on Iran's oil industry and have not been able to hamper the oil industry's progress."
Rostam Qasemi said the "Iranian oil has high economic value and the international oil market would never neglect it."
He said the Islamic republic will cut its oil sales to more European refineries in the following days, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.
"Iran is not worried about the EU oil embargo on the country's oil exports, and in the following days it will stop its crude sales to a number of European refineries," said Qasemi in an inauguration ceremony of some petrochemical projects in Iran's southern gas-rich Assaluyeh region.
On Tuesday, local satellite Press TV quoted an unnamed source as saying that Iran has cut oil supply to Spain after stopping crude export to Greece.
Iran is also mulling oil cuts to Germany and Italy, said the report.
In January this year, EU leaders endorsed the latest restrictive sanction measures on Iran's oil exports.
Last week, Iran's state TV reported that the Islamic republic has stopped its oil sales to two major Greek firms of Hellenic Petroleum and Motor Oil Hellas after the companies defaulted on their crude purchases from Iran.
In February, Iran announced that it had stopped oil exports to British and French companies and threatened to possibly cut its oil exports to six other EU states, including Portugal, Spain, Greece, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands.
"For sure, if the hostile measures of some other European countries (against Iran) is continued, the oil exports to these countries will be stopped," Iran's Deputy Oil Minister Ahmad Qalebani was quoted as saying by Mehr news agency.
If the EU states stop "hostile measures," Iran is ready to renew its oil contracts with those countries, said Qalebani, who is also the managing director of National Iranian Oil Company.
Following the remarks of Iran's oil minister, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that Iran is not concerned about sanctions on its oil sales by the West.
Iran has enough reserves of foreign currencies and even if it could not sell one barrel of its oil for 2 or 3 years, it would be able to manage the country and withstand the sanctions, Ahmadinejad made the remarks in Iran's southern port city of Bandar Abbas broadcast live on state-run IRINN TV.
Iran will defend its rights and will never allow any one to forfeit its rights, he said referring to the Western pressures over its controversial nuclear program.
The president's words came just a few days ahead of the nuclear talks between Iran and the UN Security Council's five permanent members plus Germany slated for April 14 in Turkey's Istanbul.