UANI says world oil market can withstand loss of Iranian crude

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 18 /Trend S. Isayev/

The world oil markets can withstand the loss of Iranian crude, UANI (United Against Nuclear Iran U.S. group) Communications Director Nathan Carleton told Trend, answering how the European countries will live through the upcoming winter.

"Thus far all of the cutbacks have not caused a problem," Carleton said.

In late September, Iranian parliament has stated it plans to discuss a bill that would, if voted for, prevent exports of crude oil during winter to countries have imposed sanctions against the Islamic Republic's oil sector.

The EU imposed fresh sanctions Iran a few days ago, targeted against major Iranian state companies in the oil and gas industry, and strengthened restrictions on the central bank, cranking up financial pressure over Tehran's nuclear program.

More than 30 firms and institutions were listed in the EU's Official Journal as targets for asset freezes in the EU, including the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), a large crude exporter, and the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC).

This move by EU complements previous moves by the EU, such as this year's embargo on Iranian oil imports to Europe and a previous decision to ban gas purchases.

Iran in turn called the sanctions "inhuman and illegal", noting that the nation cannot be forced to "surrender and retreat", according to Islamic Republic' FM spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast.

In one of its earlier press releases, UANI has stated that the EU should be imposing an economic blockade on Iran.

"Such blockade would fully cut Iran off from the rest of the world. We have long argued that pulling out of Iran is not just the morally right thing to do, but a good business decision given the fiduciary risks there and reputational harm elsewhere, UANI's Carleton told Trend.

He added that such a blockade would make companies choose - whether it wants to stay in Iran and continue to do business there, or it would prefer to do business in the U.S. or the EU.

"Given that particular choice, we are confident that companies will leave Iran," Carleton noted.

Despite tremendous international pressure, Iran has denied sharp oil exports downfalls.

OPEC Governor Mohammad-Ali Khatibi said Iran's oil exports have remained steady in recent months, denying reports of the International Energy Agency (IEA) which claimed Iran's oil exports had plunged in September.

At the beginning of 2012, the United States and the European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran's oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.

U.S. sanctions came into effect on June 28, while EU bans on Iranian oil imports came into force on July 1.

Iranian exports slipped to 860,0000 bpd in September, the IEA, an adviser to 28 industrialised countries, said in Friday's report, a new low. Shipments were 2.2 million bpd at the end of 2011.

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