left corner left corner
China Daily Website

Iran: EU sanctions 'political game'

Updated: 2012-01-25 09:51
( Xinhua)

TEHRAN - Iran's Oil Ministry said the European Union's (EU) oil embargo on the Islamic republic is a political game, the local satellite Press TV reported Tuesday.

The EU has used the non-political issue of oil as a tool for political objectives, the ministry said in a statement on Monday, adding that such "hasty" decisions will impact other states as well as European countries.

Iran has no concerns over the issue as it will find replacements for the European market, the statement said, adding that the ministry has already adopted necessary strategies to counter challenges in oil and energy sectors.

Using oil as a tool in political equations is a "dangerous initiative" and the sanctions against Iran would push oil prices higher and undermine the world economy, particularly the crisis- hit economies of the Western countries, according to the statement.

Oil prices gained on Monday after the EU announced to impose sanctions on Iranian oil, spurring fresh supply concerns.

Foreign ministers of the EU countries on Monday decided to ban the oil and oil products from Iran. Although the embargo will be started from July 1 to allow major EU importers like Greece, Italy and Spain to find alternative suppliers, investors were still worried about the security of global oil supply as Iranian authorities have threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a key shipping lane for the oil trade, and disrupt oil supplies in retaliation against the ban.

According to the Paris-based International Energy Agency, the EU imported about 600,000 barrels of oil a day from Iran, close to a quarter of Iran's exports of 2.6 million barrels per day.

As of Monday's close, light, sweet crude for March delivery gained 1.25 U.S. dollars, or 1.3 percent to settle at 99.58 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In London, Brent crude for March delivery also rose and last traded above 110 dollars a barrel.