Bloomberg News

Gulf States Should Help Greece Replace Iran Oil, Rosenthal Says

January 24, 2012

Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Persian Gulf states should help Greece to replace Iranian oil imports it will lose under a European Union embargo because they face a potential threat from a nuclear-armed Iran, Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said.

“Iran’s nuclear program doesn’t only threaten European countries or America, but also countries that export plenty of oil such as the Gulf states,” Rosenthal told reporters in Brussels today after the embargo was announced.

New contracts on oil imports from Iran and extensions of existing deals will be banned under the embargo, the EU said. Shipments under agreements already in place can continue until July 1. The EU measures against Iran also include a ban on the export of equipment and technology for the Iranian petrochemical industry.

The EU move may strain the economies of Greece, Spain and Italy, which accounted for about 68 percent of EU oil imports from Iran in 2010, European Commission data show.

Rosenthal said the EU was looking at ways to limit damage from the ban on countries like Greece that are dependent on the oil imports from Iran and that possible “compensation” would have to be decided before the full ban comes into force.

“The solution for Greece could be a gesture from other oil exporting countries to be accommodative on the price of oil supplied to Greece,” Rosenthal said. The Gulf states “could maybe offer a helping hand.”

--Editor: Patrick G. Henry

To contact the reporter on this story: Jurjen van de Pol in Brussels at jvandepol@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Ludden at jludden@bloomberg.net


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