Iran stops oil export to France and UK
In the midst of political tension between the EU and Iran, the latter released a statement revealing they were no longer selling oil to England and France.
The move comes in retaliation to Europe’s latest sanctions imposed on Iran, in a bid to halt their nuclear ambition.
Although the abrupt ban comes four months prior to the oil embargo’s existence, Iran’s decision is unlikely to cause any major negative impact to the participating countries. In 2011, Britain only bought 1 per cent of oil from Iran while France imported around 4 per cent. To make up for the loss of two clients, Iran will reportedly increase the volume of crude oil export to China.
Iran is persistent that there is no shortage of new customers. In the ministry’s official website, petroleum ministry’s spokesman Alireza Nikzad Rahbar was quoted saying: ‘We have our own customers and have no problem to sell our crude oil to new customers.’
Iran antagonised the west further last week, as they announced the progress in its nuclear programme. They claimed that they have been using uranium for civilian purposes, but their statement failed to dispel Europe’s scepticism of their agenda to build nuclear artillery.
Following the unrest between these nations, the oil prices hit an eight-month high costing above $121 a barrel and experts have warned it may maintain the trend throughout the year reaching about $150 per barrel.
Ian Taylor, chief executive of Vitol, the world’s largest independent oil trader, commented on the situation citing Israel’s likelihood of an air strike on Iran as the source of the expected increase in oil prices. He said: ‘I used to think this would never happen but everyone you speak to says the Israelis will have a go at striking at Iranian nuclear sites. The day that happens, you have to believe the Iranians throw a few mines in the Strait of Hormuz and for a few hours at least, or maybe more, I cannot see a scenario where prices would not be at that sort of level.’