Topic: Iran's nuclear program
BRUSSELS, January 23 (RIA Novosti)
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The European Union slapped an embargo on Iranian oil supplies on Monday, the Council of the European Union said in a press statement.
The toughest measure yet to force the Islamic Republic to drop its controversial nuclear plans and return to negotiations, the move stipulates an immediate ban on all new oil contracts with Iran, while existing contracts will be honored until July 1.
During a meeting in Brussels on Monday, the 27 EU foreign ministers also agreed to freeze the assets of the Iranian central bank.
The sanctions are expected to come into force as soon as this week, Reuters said.
Speaking before the meeting, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the sanctions were intended to "make sure that Iran takes seriously our request to come to the table and meet".
Russian Foreign Ministry denounced the sanctions in a statement on Monday, saying that they are ill-advised and likely to backfire.
“It’s an obvious pressure and dictate, an attempt to ‘punish’ Iran for stubbornness. This is a deeply wrong policy, and we have repeatedly pointed as much to our European partners. Iran would make no concessions under such pressure,” the statement said.
The step comes as tensions over Iran's nuclear activities have reached boiling point since the Islamic Republic announced earlier this month that it had launched a nuclear enrichment program at a well-protected underground facility near the holy Shia city of Qom.
Western nations suspect Iran, which is already under numerous international sanctions, of pursuing a secret nuclear weapons program but Tehran insists it needs nuclear power solely for civilian purposes.
Tehran has threatened to block the Straight of Hormuz, a strategic waterway where an estimated 40 percent of the world's seaborne oil passes, in response to Western plans to ban Iranian oil imports.
Of some 2.2. million barrels of daily Iranian oil exports, 18 percent is bound for European markets, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Oil exports make up some 60 percent of the Tehran’s revenues.
Greece, Italy and Spain consume a total of 68 percent of the Iranian oil imported to Europe, with Greece being the largest consumer, accounting for 35 percent of the imports.
As the EU ministers were preparing to approve the ban, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that Moscow had “quite a steadfast hope” that the talks on the Iranian nuclear problem could resume “in the nearest future.”
“The EU High Representative [for Foreign Affairs] Catherine Ashton should establish contact with the head of the Iranian Security Council [Saeed Jalili] and based on the results of their contacts, we will push to set a concrete date to resume the talks,” Lavrov told journalists in Russia’s Krasnodar Region, adding “we will restrain everyone from abrupt moves.”
Unilateral sanctions, he said, “do not help” when trying to overcome the Iranian nuclear deadlock.
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- firstname.lastname@example.orgRussia, China and India need too meet over Iranian sanctions21:03, 23/01/2012Russia, China and India knew this was coming with regards to Iranian oil sanctions by the European Union.
Russia stands to benefit from the oil sanctions on Iran as Europe now only has three options to make up their oil shortfall, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Russia now has an opportunity to make up for the billions in lost defensive contracts with Libya when the United States and NATO forces attacked and seized the Libyan oil reserves.
China and India will now be able to split the oil that was going to go to Europe.
Europe's decision to ban Iranian oil imports now benefits China and India.
However the ultimate goal of the United States is to get Iran to cross their Red Line and start a new war in 2012. The United States wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now over and so military resources have been freed up for another campaign.
The United States needs Iranian oil and their natural gas reserves.
In 2019 the United States depletes its domestic oil reserves.
The United States is producing 9 million barrels of oil a day.
The United States is importing 9.7 million barrels of oil a day.
The United States is consuming 18.7 million barrels of oil a day.
By 2020 the United States will need to find another 9 to 11.3 million barrels of oil to import a day. This oil can only from Iran and Russia.
China and India will need to defend Iran to help fight off the United States military in order to protect their Iranian oil and natural gas supplies.
This means China and India will need to support Iran's defence.
Russia may also want to get involved in Iran's defence against a US lead attack. If the United States gets control of Iran they will set up bases close to the Caspian Sea / Caspian Basin.
The ultimate goal of the United States is to control the oil and natural gas reserves around the Caspian Basin.
The United States MUST do this before 2019, when their domestic oil supplies are exhausted.
After the conquest of Iran, Russia will be next.
So Russia will need to draw its own Red Line in the Persian Gulf around Iran and say this is a NO OCCUPY zone.
This has nothing to do with protecting Iranian interests and everything to do with protecting Russian energy interests in the Caspian Basin area.
Earlier this month, Russia hosted the Fourth International Meeting of the Arctic Council at Naryan-Mar, a seaport in the Barents Sea, to discuss issues relating to the infrastructure and safety of ships passing through the Northern Sea Route (NSR).