Iran could ban EU oil exports next week: lawmaker

TEHRAN Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:36am EST

A speed boat passes by oil docks at the port of Kalantari in the city of Chabahar, 300km (186 miles)  east of the Strait of Hormuz January 17, 2012. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi

A speed boat passes by oil docks at the port of Kalantari in the city of Chabahar, 300km (186 miles) east of the Strait of Hormuz January 17, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Raheb Homavandi

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TEHRAN (Reuters) - A law to be debated in Iran's parliament on Sunday could halt exports of oil to the European Union as early as next week, the semi-official Fars news agency quoted a lawmaker as saying on Friday.

"On Sunday, parliament will have to approve a 'double emergency' bill calling for a halt in the export of Iranian oil to Europe starting next week," Hossein Ibrahimi, vice-chairman of parliament's national security and foreign policy committee, was quoted as saying.

Parliament is pushing for the export ban to deny the EU a 6-month phase-in of the embargo on Iranian oil that the bloc agreed on Monday as part of a raft of tough new Western sanctions aimed at forcing Iran to curb its nuclear program.

The EU accounted for 18 percent of Iranian crude oil sales in the first half of 2011, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), making it Iran's second biggest customer after China.

"If the deputies arrive at the conclusion that the Iranian oil exports to Europe must be halted, the parliament will not delay a moment (in passing the bill)," Fars quoted Moayed Hosseini-Sadr, a member of parliament's energy committee, as saying.

"If Iran's oil exports to Europe, which is about 18 percent (of Iran's oil exports) is halted the Europeans will surely be taken by surprise, and will understand the power of Iran and will realize that the Islamic establishment will not succumb to the Europeans' policies," he said.

Reflecting how seriously Tehran was taking the idea, Iran's OPEC governor Mohammad Ali Khatibi told the ILNA news agency the country might choose to raise the issue at the next OPEC meeting.

Iran's conservative-dominated parliament has previously shown it is ready to force the government to take action against what it sees as hostility from the West.

In November it voted to expel the British ambassador after London announced new sanctions ahead of other EU countries.

The day after that vote, radical Iranians stormed the British embassy, causing London to withdraw all staff and close the mission.

(Writing by Robin Pomeroy; editing by James Jukwey)

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Comments (16)
Either way we are all going to pay more at the pumps,
Guess the US didn’t think this one through

Jan 27, 2012 6:41am EST  --  Report as abuse
kenradke11 wrote:
Lol Iran want to cut off its nose to spite it face :)
What losers !!

Jan 27, 2012 6:46am EST  --  Report as abuse
Free-Speech wrote:
And still the idiots in the western right wing are strutting around with a perverted air of invincibility….

There are MANY other buyers for Iranian oil, some of which have already shunned illegal US sanctions and economic terrorism and committed to large contracts with Iran.

This will hurt Europe MUCH more than it will hurt Iran… and serves them right!

You get in bed with the devil and this is what happens… havn’t you learnt the golden rule of the century???

Stay away from the USA, because every single thing they touch turns to ashes…

The USA is a failed state.

Jan 27, 2012 7:33am EST  --  Report as abuse
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