EU Agrees on ‘Gradual’ Iran Oil Embargo

FMs: Full Oil Ban to Be in Place by July

The European Union’s Foreign Ministers have agreed to a full-fledged embargo on all imports of Iranian crude oil today. The scheme would increase restrictions until the embargo is fully in place in July.

British FM William Hague defended the move, saying Iran was enriching uranium “to 20 percent, for which there is no possible civilian explanation.” Hague, evidently, was unfamiliar with the US-built Tehran Research Reactor (TRR), which operates on fuel cells using 20 percent enriched uranium to produce medical isotopes.

The latest embargo announcement came after a false announcement earlier this month, in which French FM Alain Juppe claimed a deal was reached and other EU officials denied it a day later.

The embargo could be potentially damaging to a number of EU nations’ economies, Greece in particular, as they will have to find alternative sources of oil. A likely source will be Libya, where Italian oil company Eni has been ratcheting up output. But given increasing instability in Libya, this may not prove a secure source.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.