Source: Tehran Times
China and Russia, as two veto-wielding Security Council members who sit on the 5+1 group negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program, have opposed oil embargo against Iran.
Russia's energy minister said on Wednesday that banning Iranian oil sales would be a political move and Russia does not believe energy supplies should be used to exert pressure.
European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said on Tuesday there was consensus among some EU countries to ban imports of Iranian oil and that Europe hoped to bring Russia on board in a global ban.
But the world's biggest crude oil producer, which does not import any Iranian crude, is unlikely to back the plan aimed at piling pressure on Iran to drop its nuclear program.
"It is quite obvious that this decision is based on some political motivation ... In these situations we try to be as neutral as possible," Sergei Shmatko told reporters on the sidelines of the World Petroleum Congress in Doha.
"Do you realize the impact of this decision once it is made?" he said, according to Reuters.
China won't join U.S.-led anti-Iran move
“China always places domestic law above the international law, which make use of any slightest pretext to impose unilateral sanctions. China is like many other countries. Our dealings with Iran are completely above board,” Press TV quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei as saying at a press briefing on Tuesday.
He added, “They (China's deals with Iran) violate no UN Security Council resolution. They are neither in the interests of other countries nor the international community. They should not be called into question.”
Meanwhile, an analyst has stated that China, the biggest buyer of Iranian crude, would not heed a possible embargo on oil imports from Iran.
“Iran is a very important supplier of oil for China. I believe there would a massive conflict between America's prohibition from and China's interest in the Iranian crude. China won't certainly do what the United States says,” He Jun, from Anbound Information Consultancy, told Press TV in Beijing.
OPEC chief hopes EU will not impose embargo on Iran oil
The head of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said on Wednesday he hoped the EU would not press sanctions on Iran's "difficult to replace" oil exports.
"I really hope there will not be an EU embargo on Iranian oil," OPEC Secretary General Abdullah El-Badri said at the World Petroleum Congress.
"It will be very, very difficult to replace" the exports of this OPEC member, AFP quoted him as saying.
"Europe now is facing some difficulties... so to cut these 865,000 barrels a day immediately, I think it will be a problem," he said, apparently referring to Iran's exports to all of Europe, as the EU imports around 450,000 bpd from Iran, according to the International Energy Agency.
The United States, Britain and Canada imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran's energy and financial sectors on November 21 in the wake of the latest report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the country's nuclear activities.
(Source: news agencies)
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