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15 February 2012 - 22:18

The price of oil in global markets hits a six-month high of nearly USD 120 a barrel as Iran says is cutting oil exports to six European countries.

On Wednesday Iran warned six European states, including the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Portugal, that it is cutting oil exports unless long term deals are made and payments by EU states are guaranteed.

Brent crude was up USD 1.83 reaching USD119.18 a barrel on Wednesday, the highest price since August 1. This is while US crude climbed by USD1.28 to reach USD102.02.

After on January 23 EU announced plans to impose a ban on purchasing oil from Iran, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said on February 8 that Tehran has decided to halt crude exports to some European states.

EU sanctions will take effect on July 1, 2012, to give the bloc’s member states enough time to adjust to new conditions and find alternative crude oil supplies.

On February 8, 200 Iranian lawmakers signed a statement expressing full support for the Oil Ministry's decision and urged the government to find new markets for Iran's crude.

The United States, Israel, and some of their allies accuse Iran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program and have used this pretext to impose international and unilateral sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Iran, however, maintains that, as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has every right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

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News ID 181496