(Updates with comment in second paragraph.)
Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Qatar Prime Minister said he wouldn’t like “any kind of action against Iran” and hopes the conflict over the nation’s nuclear program can be resolved diplomatically after the European Union agreed to ban oil imports from the Islamic Republic.
“We here, in Qatar, are very keen to see the diffusing of this tension, we are working for that,” Hamad Bin Jasim Bin Jaber al Thani told reporters in the Qatari capital Doha.
European Union foreign ministers agreed to ban oil imports from Iran starting July 1 to pressure the Persian Gulf nation to curtail its nuclear program, the 27-nation bloc said in a statement. European countries and the U.S. accuse Iran of seeking to develop atomic weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is strictly for energy.
Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a seaway linking the Persian Gulf with the Indian Ocean, if sanctions are imposed on its oil. Qatar, the world’s biggest producer of liquefied natural gas, ships nearly all its LNG and crude oil through the strait to markets around the world.
“Hormuz is an international passageway and I think it’s in the benefit of all that this passage stays open for the economy, for the world,” the prime minister said.
--Editors: Raj Rajendran, Rachel Graham.
To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Tuttle in Doha at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at email@example.com