Iran in threat over oil supply

Tim Wallace
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IRAN vowed to stop oil exports to EU countries yesterday, stepping up its row with the west over its nuclear energy policies.

However, it called off a parliamentary debate on oil sales to the EU, which Brussels is already in the process of banning itself.

Lawmaker Mohammed Karim Abedi said a bill to cut supplies to the EU for between five and 15 years is under consideration.

The EU aims to implement its embargo slowly, preventing the southern Europeam countries which are most dependant on Iranian oil from being hit too hard by the ban.

If Iran pre-empts the embargo, those countries would be harmed.

Meanwhile Iran said it was optimistic about yesterday’s visit by UN nuclear experts, but did threaten to reduce cooperation if the experts are not “professional”.

“If the International Atomic Energy Agency turns into a tool (for major powers to pressure Iran), then Iran will have no choice but to consider a new framework in its ties with the agency,” said foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi.

Nonetheless, the minister maintained the inspectors’ questions “will be answered during this visit.”

“We have nothing to hide and Iran has no clandestine (nuclear) activities.”