Iran defiant,says will find other buyers for its oil

Iran’s Oil Ministry said the country can find new markets to circumvent the oil embargo

Written by Associated Press | London | Published: January 25, 2012 12:27:28 am

Tehran’s intelligence chief has shrugged off a new European Union ban on the purchase of Iranian oil,insisting the world economy is so diversifed that sanctions will be ineffective. Iran’s state IRNA news agency reported Tuesday that Heidar Moslehi also argued sanctions have even brought benefits to the country,making it economically self-sufficient.

He made the defiant comments Tuesday,after the European Union imposed an oil embargo against Iran,part of sanctions to pressure Tehran into resuming talks on the country’s controversial nuclear programme.

Iran’s Oil Ministry said the country can find new markets to circumvent the oil embargo,though US officials have been pressing Tehran’s main Asian oil markets to turn away from Iran.

Tehran’s response to the oil ban has been harsh,with two lawmakers threatening that their country would close the strategic Strait of Hormuz in retaliation.

Britain,for its part,said Tuesday it could send extra military assets to the Strait of Hormuz to deter any attempt by Iran to block Persian Gulf oil tanker traffic. Britain’s defence secretary Philip Hammond said that two British and French warships and the American aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln had entered the Gulf Sunday to show Tehran they would not tolerate any interference with global shipping.

Iran summoned the Danish ambassador to Tehran on Tuesday over the EU’s oil embargo; Denmark is currently the head of the rotating EU presidency.

“Elements within the European Union,by pursuing the policies of the US and adopting a hostile approach,are seeking to create tensions with the Islamic Republic of Iran,’’ the official IRNA news agency quoted Ali Asghar Khaji,a senior Foreign Ministry official,as saying. Other Iranian officials argued the sanctions would not work,or could even benefit Iran. “The oil embargo will lead to higher prices. Europe will be the loser and Iran will earn more because of high prices,’’ Iran’s oil ministry spokesman Ali Reza Nikzad Rahbar told state TV.

Australia said it would also sign up to the embargo,though acknowledged it currently has negligible oil imports from Iran.

Obama applauds EU sanctions on Iran
US President Barack Obama has applauded the new European Union sanctions on Iran,noting this demonstrates unity of the international community. “These sanctions demonstrate once more the unity of the international community in addressing the serious threat presented by Iran’s nuclear programme,” Obama said. Obama said he applauds actions by US’ partners in the EU to impose additional sanctions on Iran in response to the regime’s continuing failure to fulfill its obligations regarding its nuclear programme. PTI

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