In a move apparently intended to preempt an EU boycott of Iranian oil, Tehran has stopped sales of crude oil to the UK and France, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.
At the end of January, the EU ratified a new set of sanctions that targeted the country’s central bank and oil exports in a tactic “designed to try and make sure that Iran takes seriously our request to come to the table,” in the words of EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton.
Iran responded to the sanctions by issuing warnings that such a tactic would cause a spike in the global price of crude oil.
According to Bloomberg, Iranian oil comprises 4% of France’s oil imports and 1% of the UK’s oil imports. Tehran is reportedly renegotiating its oil supply contract with China and on February 16 said it would soon increase the amount of its oil exports to that country.
On February 15, Iran reportedly warned envoys from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, France and the Netherlands that it would also halt its supply of oil to their nations unless they signed supply contracts. All together, EU nations purchase 18% of Iranian oil.