South Africa has lashed out at the United States and European Union for imposing oil sanctions on Iran over its nuclear energy program without first consulting major importers of the Iranian energy supplies.
South Africa’s Energy Minister Elizabeth Dipuo Peters, who is in India to attend the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) meeting, said that such decisions have geopolitical implications and mostly affect “the poorest of the poor” that are in dire need of energy supplies and have no alternative.
“When decisions are made at bilateral or unilateral levels that have serious geopolitical consequences, we need to engage seriously,” Peters said.
“When we had to look for crude of the kind we got from Iran, it came at a premium,” she added.
“It has a multiple knock-on effect, especially on the poorest. When these decisions are taken, they must always consider the impact and consequences of their decisions at the geopolitical level. Or at least involve other countries so that when the decision is made they can say South Africa is taking it consciously. They have calculated the impact on them but not on others,” the South African minister said.
At the beginning of 2012, the US and EU imposed new sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.
On October 15, 2012, the EU foreign ministers reached an agreement on another round of sanctions against Iran.
The sanctions have been imposed on Iran over the groundless charges of a potential military diversion in Iran’s nuclear energy program.
Iran rejects the unfounded allegations over its nuclear energy program, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Peters said that that the petroleum industry is a victim of financial sanctions, which include US sanctions on dollar-denominated trading and EU sanctions on insurance for shipping companies.
She emphasized that the US 18-month exemption for Iran oil sanctions had not benefited South Africa because the EU has refused to grant waivers.
On December 8, 2012, the US added China, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Taiwan to the list of countries exempted from the sanctions for another six months.
By Press TV
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