Iran has condemned the EU decision to impose an embargo on Iranian oil, saying the group must bear responsibility for the consequences of its “uncalculated decision and effort to create tension and crisis.”
The Mehr News Agency reports that Iran’s Foreign Ministry said: “The Iranian people have proven time and again that they will not forego their legitimate and legal right to respond to pressure and oppressive actions, and certainly going forward they will continue to resist these methods within a framework of just and peaceful principles and international stability.”
On Monday, the EU’s 27 member states announced their final decision to boycott Iranian oil. According to the new sanctions, they will refrain from signing any new oil agreements with Iran, and the current agreements will have to completed by the first of July.
The EU market currently absorbs 18 percent of Iran’s oil exports.
EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton announced that the new sanctions are aimed at bringing Iran back to the table for resumed talks over its nuclear program.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry maintains: “The Islamic Republic has on many occasions emphasized the peaceful nature of its nuclear program and continuously cooperated with the IAEA in the framework of its commitments and will not deny any further efforts to guarantee the transparency of its nuclear activities.”
The International Atomic Energy Agency issued its latest report in November, indicating that Iran’s nuclear program may have a military dimension.
The report has triggered new sanctions by the U.S. and the EU. Iran’s Central Bank is currently under U.S. and British sanctions.
Despite all this, Iran has begun uranium enrichment at its Fordoo Nuclear Facility, insisting that its only purpose it to provide fuel for nuclear reactors.
Russia has condemned the new sanctions against Iran, holding out diplomacy and dialogue as the only way to resolve the nuclear dispute.
Iran’s Oil Ministry has announced that it is not concerned about finding alternative buyers for the 18 percent of its oil exports customarily sold to the EU.
The U.S. has welcomed the EU boycott of Iranian crude.
Ashton has said that the EU will evaluate the effects of the sanctions this coming May.