Official: EU ban on Iran gas imports is just ‘propaganda’

Business Materials 6 October 2012 14:40 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct.6/ Trend F.Milad/

The decision of the EU to ban gas imports from Iran is just propaganda, spokesman for the Iranian Oil Ministry Alireza Nikzad Rahbar stated.

"For the time being, no gas is exported to the EU. So, the EU ban on Iranian gas imports is just propaganda," the Fars News Agency quoted Alireza Nikzad Rahbar as saying on Saturday.

Late on Wednesday, diplomats from EU member states reached a preliminary deal to ban gas imports from Iran, the first measure to win approval in the package, which also consists of various finance and energy-related proposals, Reuters reported.

The European Union's oil embargo on Iran took effect on July 1.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that the U.S. and Europe are working on new coordinated measures intended to ratchet up economic pressure on Iran.

The first salvos in this stepped-up sanctions campaign are expected at a meeting of EU foreign ministers on October 15, including a ban on Iranian natural-gas exports and tighter restrictions on transactions with Tehran's central bank, European officials said.

A number of additional banks are also expected to be targeted, in the continuing effort to press Iran to curb its nuclear program.

The U.S. and the EU are also considering imposing a de facto trade embargo early next year by moving to block all export and import transactions through Iran's banking system, U.S. and European officials said.

To that end, U.S. lawmakers are drafting legislation that would require the White House to block all international dealings with Iran's central bank, while also seeking to enforce a ban on all outside insuring of Iranian companies.