Monday, February 20, 2012

Iran stops oil exports to British companies as Hague warns Israel an attack 'would not be wise'

Iran cut off oil sales to British companies yesterday after Foreign Secretary William Hague accused the Islamist regime of promoting terrorism.

The oil ministry in Tehran announced that it had ceased all sales to the UK and France, escalating diplomatic tensions triggered by Iran’s nuclear programme.

The move will have little effect on British firms, which get well under 1 per cent of their oil from Iran since the European Union has already slapped sanctions on the country and has vowed to stop buying all Iranian oil by July. Iran was supplying more than 700,000 barrels a day to the EU last year but this had already been cut back by 300,000 before yesterday’s move.

Nevertheless it represented another ratcheting up of tensions.

The action came less than 48 hours after Mr Hague accused Iran of threatening a new nuclear Cold War in the Middle East. Yesterday the Foreign Secretary accused the government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of plotting terrorist outrages around the world. He said there was ‘no specific information’ about a threat to the London Olympics from any Tehran-backed terrorists. Read More