Iran is prepared to cut off oil exports to Europe, the executive director of Iran’s National Oil Company announced today.
Ahmadi Ghalehbani told the Mehr News Agency in Khuzestan: "In the current situation, with the good relations we have with other countries in the world, we have found other purchasers for our oil exports and we are prepared to cut off all oil exports to Europe right away."
EU countries announced an embargo on Iranian oil last week. Effective immediately, European countries will not enter into any new purchase agreements for Iranian petroleum products, and existing agreements must be terminated by July 1.
European contracts account for 18 percent of Iran’s oil exports, and Ghalebani claimed Iran could easily find alternative customers.
Iran’s main market for its petroleum exports is Asia, and the U.S. has been unable to convince countries like China and India to curb their appetite for Iranian oil.
A number of Iranian MP have called for a motion to immediately cut off oil exports to Europe.
The head of Iran’s National Oil Company rejected speculation that EU sanctions will force Iran to sell its crude at a discounted price. To the contrary, he maintained that EU sanctions will only drive the price of oil higher.