Sat, January 28, 2012
World > Middle East

Iran seeks to halt oil exports to EU: lawmaker

2012-01-27 22:05:48 GMT2012-01-28 06:05:48(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

TEHRAN, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Majlis (Parliament) is to discuss a bill on Sunday that seeks to halt its oil exports to the European Union (EU), local satellite channel Press TV reported on Friday.

Iranian lawmakers will discuss the bill that calls for a ban of oil exports to the EU as early as next week, Hossein Ebrahimi, deputy head of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, was quoted by Press TV as saying.

In reference to the EU's decision to embargo Iran's oil, the lawmaker called the new sanction measures a "psychological war," the implementation of which remains uncertain.

Nasser Soudani, a member of Iran's Majlis Energy Commission, said Wednesday that in a preemptive move, the Iranian parliament is mulling over a plan to halt its oil exports to the EU member states.

"Majlis representatives are seeking to approve a plan, according to which all European countries that have imposed sanctions against Iran will not be able to buy even one drop of oil from Iran," Soudani said.

The foreign ministers of the EU countries on Monday decided to ban Iran's oil and oil products, causing investors to worry about global oil supplies as Tehran has threatened in retaliation to close the Strait of Hormuz, a key shipping lane for the trade.

Major EU importers of Iran's oil, such as Greece, Italy and Spain, have until July 1, when the embargo comes into force, to find alternative oil suppliers.

Ali-Abar Velayati, top advisor to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warned Thursday that "no one can sell oil if Iran cannot."

With pressure ramped up on Iran over its disputed nuclear program, the Islamic republic is suffering from multiple economic woes such as currency depreciation and rising inflation.

A high-ranking team of the International Atomic Energy Agency will pay a three-day visit to Iran on Jan. 29 to discuss issues related to the country's controversial nuclear program.

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