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China Increases Gasoline Exports to Iran After Malaysian Fuel Export Halt


China ups Iran gas sale amid US ire

Press TV, Sat, 17 Apr 2010 07:20:26 GMT

Washington plans to target Iran's energy sector as a means to end the country's nuclear work.

China's plans to increase gasoline exports to Iran will effectively thwart US efforts to choke off the country's energy sector, a recent report reveals.

Forbes reported on Friday that state-owned China National Petroleum Corp.'s trading unit, ChinaOil, has already sent 600,000 barrels of gasoline to Iran in two $55 million shipments.

According to the article, the trading unit of China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec), Unipec, has also agreed to sell some 250,000 barrels to Iran through a third party in Singapore.

The report comes at a time when Washington is exerting pressure to halt Iran's low-level nuclear activities by targeting the country's gasoline trade.

A bipartisan slate of US senators and lawmakers, tabled a motion in April 2009 that advocated tough sanctions against countries that sell refined petroleum, including gasoline, to Iran.

The Islamic Republic has been under US sanctions ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution toppled a US-backed monarch in Iran.

Tehran says Washington has long been using sanctions, which normally pressure ordinary people in a country, as a tool to force independent nations bow to its "illogical demands."

On Friday, Iranian Oil Minister Masoud Mirkazemi warned that US-led sanctions against Iran will fail to achieve their desired results as the country has managed to become self-sufficient in oil production and products.

Mirkazemi further added that Iran has become "quite the expert in tackling sanctions imposed by Western countries" over the past three decades.


Malaysia Halts Fuel Supply to Iran

Press TV, Sat, 17 Apr 2010 11:56:43 GMT

Malaysia has stopped supplying gasoline to the Islamic Republic, after alleging that that Iran has not fully complied with the UN nuclear watchdog.

On Thursday, Malaysian state oil company and long-term supplier to Iran Petronas said it had cut off gasoline supplies to Iranian ports since the middle of March.

The move follows stepped up efforts by the US and its allies to impose fresh UN Security Council sanctions on Iran due to the country's refusal to halt its nuclear enrichment activities.

"We believe in engagement but Iran has to respond as well and there are some clear indications of their non-compliance," said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Thursday after confirming that his country had officially ceased fuel supplies to Iran.

However, Najib said Petronas would "certainly" lift its suspension on gasoline supplies should Iran comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

In response to a question about Malaysia reviewing the possibility of continuing current projects or entering future joint ventures in Iran, the premier said, "We will see how it goes; we do not want to send the wrong signals."

"We appreciate the importance of our economic relations with Iran as well," he said.

Najib asserts Iran's right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes but said Tehran must comply with the UN Security Council decision and suspend uranium enrichment activities.

The Malaysian prime minister made the remark three days after he held talks with US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of a 47-nation nuclear security summit.

"It's going to be quite inevitable that additional sanctions will be imposed in the near future unless there is some movement in the right direction by Iran," Najib told reporters in Washington.

"The onus is on Iran now to react expeditiously to prevent additional sanctions."

"They must earn the trust of the international community and the only way they can earn the trust is to be fully transparent in whatever they do and allow full verification by the IAEA and there are some serious doubt as to whether this has been carried out or has been complied with by Iran," he said.

Iran says its nuclear program is directed at the civilian application of the technology. The West, however, accuses the country of having the intention to develop nuclear weapons.

This is while the UN nuclear watchdog, which has conducted the largest amount of inspection in the history of the body on Iran's nuclear program, has not been able to verify that claim.

Moreover, no country has ever been subjected to more voluntary IAEA inspections than the Islamic Republic.


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