Europe shuns Iranian oil despite US sanctions waivers

Europe shuns Iranian oil despite US sanctions waivers Despite being granted exemptions from US sanctions against Iran to enable them to buy Tehran’s oil, some European countries fully cut off crude imports from the Islamic Republic, according to Iran’s oil minister.

Washington agreed to give temporary waivers to several Iranian oil buyers when it imposed an embargo on oil shipments from the country in November after it pulled out from the landmark nuclear agreement. Those granted waivers included China, India, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Greece, and Turkey, allowing them to continue purchases without penalties.

However, not all countries opted to use the waivers, as the US attempts to push Tehran’s oil export revenues “to zero” and tries to “block any money transfer,” the Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Namdar Zangeneh stated.

“Among the Europeans, except for Turkey, no other nation has purchased oil from Iran. Greece and Italy refuse to buy Iran’s oil despite winning waivers. Nor do they respond to our correspondence,” the minister on Tuesday.

Iran’s crude exports, which contribute to a significant part of the country’s revenues, have been dropping since the US embargo took effect. In April, the crude and oil condensates exports were estimated to be about 2.8 million barrels per day. Zangeneh declined to announce the current export figures, but earlier reports suggest that the shipments fell by more than half.

Iranian officials have previously said that countries have to be extremely cautious in dealing with Tehran, as they face “financial pressure” from Washington. In January, Iran’s Deputy Minister of Petroleum Amir Hossein Zamaninia said that even those who dare to buy its crude, “would not even buy an additional one barrel.”

The 180-day US waivers expire in May and it is believed that their number will be reduced. However, Iran stressed that it had already found new potential buyers for its oil without revealing who exactly they were.

The last country who decided to finally to resume purchases of Iranian oil was Japan. On January 21, a large tanker with two million barrels of crude, destined for Japanese companies, left Iran and is expected to reach buyers on February 9.

For more stories on economy & finance visit