Iran Threatens Six European Nations With Oil Cutoff

Wednesday, 15 Feb 2012 11:37 AM

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Iran has threatened to cut oil exports to France, Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Italy. The move is in retaliation for increased sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, The Washington Post reported.

France and the Netherlands were told by Iran's Foreign Ministry that they would be getting no oil. Greece and Italy were warned that they must extend their long-term oil-purchasing contracts or their supply would be ended. The  Iranian media outlet Fars News Agency, quoting an Oil Ministry source, reported that exports have not been stopped but Iran has given an ultimatum to those countries to continue their long-term contracts, the Post reported.

The move follows European Union sanctions on Iran’s banking and energy industries that included a boycott of new oil contracts. The shutoff came after reports that Iran has started loading fuel rods into a nuclear reactor used to make medical isotopes. The country was also expected to announce that an underground complex for uranium enrichment is now operational, the Post reported.

The underground bunker involves the Fordow enrichment site, near the central city of Qom. Critics, including Israel and countries in the West, charge that putting centrifuges in bunkers in a mountain is a sign that Iran is trying to hide parts of its nuclear program, the Post reported.


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