Cutting oil sales to UK, France, lesson to EU: Iran’s Velayati
Saturday, 25 February 2012 | 00:00
A senior Iranian official says the Islamic Republic’s decision to cut oil sales to British and French firms was a chastening lesson to the European Union members for imposing sanctions on Tehran.
“It was the right move, and will punish the Europeans, so that they would not adopt such measures as embargoing Iranian oil anymore,” Ali Akbar Velayati, senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, said.
On February 19, Iran’s Oil Ministry announced it had cut oil exports to British and French firms in response to an embargo by the European Union on Iranian oil.
European Union foreign ministers agreed to ban oil imports from Iran on January 23 and to freeze the assets of the Iranian Central Bank across the EU in a bid to pressure Iran over its nuclear program.
The sanctions will become fully effective on July 1, 2012, to give EU member states enough time to adjust to the new conditions and find alternative crude oil supplies.
European oil sanctions against Iran are “futile”, Velayati further said, adding, “These embargoes have no effect on our oil sales as the Islamic Republic has always had and will always have its oil customers.”
Despite the widely publicized claims by the US, Israel and some of their European allies that Iran's nuclear program may include a military aspect, Tehran insists that its nuclear work is civilian in nature.
The Islamic Republic also argues that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
The IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence indicating that Tehran's civilian nuclear program has been diverted towards nuclear weapons production.
Source: Press TV
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