TEHRAN, (Reuters) – Iran’s oil minister said that the Islamic state would certainly cut its oil exports to “some” European countries, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Saturday.
“Our oil exports will certainly be cut to some European countries … We will decide about other European countries later,” Fars quoted Rostam Qasemi as telling a news conference.
Qasemi did not identify the countries but the measure is in retaliation for the decision by the EU’s 27 member states to stop importing crude from Iran from July 1.
President Barack Obama signed new sanctions against Iran into law on New Year’s Eve that would block any institution dealing with Iran’s central bank from the U.S. financial system. The European Union announced similar measures last week.
The sanctions, if fully implemented, would make it impossible for countries to buy Iranian oil.
The EU accounted for 25 percent of Iranian crude oil sales in the third quarter of 2011. However, analysts say the global oil market will not be overly disrupted if Iran decides to turn off the oil tap for Europe.