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Germany joins European oil embargo against Iran

The Local · 24 Jan 2012, 08:40

Published: 24 Jan 2012 08:40 GMT+01:00

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"We call on Iran's leadership immediately to suspend its sensitive nuclear activities and abide fully by its international obligations," British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a joint statement.

"Our message is clear. We have no quarrel with the Iranian people. But the Iranian leadership has failed to restore international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear programme," they said.

"We will not accept Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon. Iran has so far had no regard for its international obligations and is already exporting and threatening violence around its region."

The three leaders said "the door is open to Iran to engage in serious and meaningful negotiations about its nuclear programme.

"Until Iran comes to the table, we will be united behind strong measures to undermine the regime's ability to fund its nuclear programme, and to demonstrate the cost of a path that threatens the peace and security of us all."

The EU slapped an embargo on Iran's oil exports as part of the package of new sanctions Monday aimed at blocking funds for Tehran's suspect nuclear drive and pressing it to return to talks.

The oil ban, along with sanctions against Iran's central bank and other measures, come amid mounting concerns of confrontation after the UN atomic agency reported Tehran was inching ever closer to building a nuclear bomb.

The EU has already frozen the assets of 433 firms and 113 individuals, as well as restricting trade and investment in the oil and gas industries.

The bloc imported some 600,000 barrels of Iranian oil per day in the first 10 months of last year, making it a key market alongside India and China, which has refused to bow to pressure from Washington to dry up Iran's oil revenues.

"The embargo mustn't take place solely in the EU, in the West," said Germany Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. "For the message to the Iranian regime to be clear it needs more than a western voice, it needs an international voice."

Some 65 percent of Iranian exports go to Asia.

Story continues below…

In Europe, Iranian oil accounted for 34.2 percent of Greece's total oil imports, 14.9 percent of Spain's and 12.4 percent of Italy's in the first nine months of last year, according to the latest EU statistics.

The bloc thus has been seeking new suppliers able to match the attractive conditions offered by Tehran. Contacts are under way with Saudi Arabia and hopes are high that Libya can soon increase its production.

AFP/The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:49 January 24, 2012 by Wrench
Great....another excuse to raise the price of fuel.
12:31 January 24, 2012 by jg.
A Saudi minister is reported to have said that his country would increase production to meet any ensuing supply shortfall.
12:55 January 24, 2012 by pepsionice
It's a staged event. Iran's leadership needs to look tough for the Mullahs. Europe's leadership needs to look tough because no one really wants a nuke Iran around, especially Saudi Arabia or Kuwait or Iraq.. The worst possible outcome now is some idiot junior officer who gets orders via some Mullah in Iran to launch an attack against some tanker, and sink it. Then all heck breaks loose with oil jumping to $150 a barrel in just two weeks.
14:54 January 24, 2012 by derExDeutsche
Pepsi, this embargo is staged too? Just as long as everyone plays along fooling the people, huh? Nothing is as it seems. So the Mullahs in Iran are going to sink their own tanker?
15:12 January 24, 2012 by mirzanr
Iran does not have enough technology to enrich nuclear fuel which could ultimately be used in nuclear weapons. Their program is peaceful to-date. All this blabbing is based upon measure speculations.

Shame on three leaders (considering the amount of energy they derive from nuclear energy).
12:56 January 26, 2012 by raandy
mirzanr. you know this as a fact or is this your own intuition speaking.

I have no knowledge other than what i read and I have read where the Russians have given lots of Tech to Iran, and I am sure the Tech is out there if you have money and they do.
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