Iran may ban oil sales to Europe next week

Iran may ban oil sales to Europe next week

TEHRAN - Reuters
Iran may ban oil sales to Europe next week

An unidentified woman rides her bike toward a gas station in central Paris. AFP photo

A law to be debated in Iran’s parliament on Jan. 29 could halt exports of oil to the EU as early as next week, the Fars news agency quoted a lawmaker as saying on Jan. 27. 

“On Sunday, the 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 earlier this week 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 U.S. data, 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.