February 5, 2019 / 10:12 AM / 7 months ago

Iran criticizes Greece, Italy for not buying its oil despite U.S. waivers

FILE PHOTO: Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh talks to journalists during a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna, Austria, November 30, 2016. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Iran’s oil minister on Tuesday criticized Greece and Italy for not buying its oil despite U.S. waivers and said they had not offered Tehran any explanation for their decision.

The United States granted the two countries exemptions along with six others - Turkey, China, India, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan - allowing them to temporarily continue buying Iranian oil as Washington reimposed sanctions on Iran’s banking and energy sectors.

“No European country is buying oil from Iran except Turkey,” Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.

“Greece and Italy have been granted exemptions by America, but they don’t buy Iranian oil and they don’t answer our questions,” he said.

Zanganeh said the U.S. sanctions on Iran were more difficult than the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, but said Tehran will not allow the United States to reduce its oil exports to zero.

Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; editing by Jason Neely

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