Iran cuts oil sales to debt-riddled Greece
Islamic Republic of Iran’s oil minister, Rostam Ghasemi.
Iran's oil minister says the country has halted oil sales to Greece.
It's the latest European country hit with Iran's pre-emptive retaliation over an EU embargo that is to go into effect in July and that was imposed over Tehran's controversial nuclear program. The West suspects Tehran of pursuing nuclear weapons, a charge Iran denies. The official IRNA news agency on Tuesday quoted Oil Minister Rostam Ghasemi as saying that "for the time being, Iran is not selling oil to Greece. " He says the two countries have not reached an agreement for the resumption of crude exports. He did not elaborate. Earlier in April, Iran said it had stopped selling oil to 2 Greek oil companies because they failed to pay their bills.
Also Iranian media quoted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying days before the resumption of talks with world powers on Tehran's nuclear programme, “Iran has enough funds to withstand a total embargo on its oil sales for two to three years.” The European Union is set to impose a total embargo on Iranian crude oil from July following similar measures imposed by the United States to try to force Iran to abandon uranium enrichment. The International Energy Agency recently said that the wide-ranging sanctions against Iran could reduce its oil exports by as much as 1 million barrels per day, or 40 percent, from the middle of the year.