Iran oil sanctions update

All the main news on Iranian oil sanctions from the weekend

Iran and Turkey two countries look set to maintain good relations evens as Turkey cuts Iranian oil imports by 20%. GETTY IMAGES
Iran and Turkey two countries look set to maintain good relations evens as Turkey cuts Iranian oil imports by 20%. GETTY IMAGES

A digest of all the main news on Iranian oil sanctions from the weekend:

- The Obama administration has decided to implement announced sanctions against Iran’s central bank, in a move which will effectively force countries to choose between doing business with Iran or America. (CNN Money)

- South Korea, which obtains 10% of its oil from Iran, said it would work with the US to cut its continuing reliance on Iranian oil imports, as the country failed to win exemptions from the US sanctions regime. The Obama administration renewed its commitment to punishing countries which continue to import Iranian crude by blacklisting them from American . 10 EU countries and Japan have already been exempted for cutting their imports by 10% or more. (Associated Press)

- India, which relies on Iran for 12% of its oil, has struck a more defiant note. The country’s position is that it recognizes UN-approved sanctions only, not those instrgetd by the US or EU unilaterally. The country has recently been paying Iran in rupees and in kind for oil imports, in a trend analysts have dubbed 'junk for oil'. The trende is expected to greatly worsen inflation and the collapse of the Iranian dinar, as central coffers are starved of the dollars and euros needed to prop up the currency, while boosting opportunities for graft and black market trade. (Reuters, Bloomberg)

- China, a major purchaser of Iranian crude, has rejected the US’s sanctions push, saying no country has a right to implement unilateral sanctions. Beyond the rhetoric, Beijing has taken a two-pronged approach to the U.S. demands, insisting that China has the right to import oil from Iran or any other country while quietly reducing imports of Iranian oil. Nicholas Burns, a former senior U.S. diplomat, says China has "fundamentally undercut" the sanctions regime. (Bloomberg Businessweek, Wall Street Journal)

- Uruguary is hoping to dodge US sanctiosn by bartering rice for oil with the Iranian republic. The Latin American country has seen its rice sector hit by reduced demand from Tehran, and according to a Reuters report citing Agriculture Minister Tabare Aguerre, would be willing to trade oil for rice. Uruguary exported 90,000 tonnes of rice to Iran last year, enough at prevailing spot rice and oil prices to pay for 1,079 barrels of Iranian crude a day. The deal may go through as Iran is desperately accumulating stores of everything from wheat to steel in advance of sanctions biting in earnest. (Reuters)

- Turkey has announced a commitment to discontinue crude imports from Iran and instead source its oil from Libya, according to Turkish paper Hurriyet Daily News, citing Turkish Energy Minister Energy Minister Taner Yıldız, who has commited to cutting Iranian oil imports by 20%. The Erdogan administration has maintained good relations with Tehran, including taking a credulous line over the aims behind the country’s nuclear program. (Hurriyet Daily News)

US sanctions against countries importing Iranian oil are due to begin on 28 June, with EU sanctions set to begin on 1 July.

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