Britain wants exemption from anti-Iran sanctions

TEHRAN (FNA)- Britain called on the US and the European Union (EU) to partially ease the anti-Iranian embargo imposed on a joint UK-Iran natural gas field in the North Sea, media reports said.

The US daily, Wall Street Journal, reported that the British administration is negotiating with the US and European Union for an exemption from sanctions imposed on Iran, so that it would be able to continue its cooperation with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) at the North Sea’s oil field.

The American daily pointed out that these talks are underway while Britain is grappling with shortage of natural gas.

UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) consulted the US and EU officials over releasing sanctions on Iran’s state oil company, the American paper said in a report.

“We are working with the EU to ensure the long-term security of the Rhum North Sea gas field and will be making an announcement on this in due course,” said the office for the DECC.

The US State Department also said they have discussed the issue with the British government, without releasing any further details.

The British oil giant has halted production of natural gas from this field following the imposition of sanctions against Iran.

The NIOC has a 50-percent stake with the UK’s BP in the offshore field, called Rhum, that can output a daily 5.4 million cubic meter capacity, which had its operation halted in 2010 due the US-brokered and EU-backed sanctions imposed on Iran.

The EU spokesperson spoke of the plausibility of the act, saying, “The BP gas field could be exempted from sanctions under an EU Council Regulation adopted in December 2012 amending previous regulation on restrictive measures against Iran.”

Recently, the European Union has passed new laws which allow exemptions to a number of projects from anti-Iran sanctions, under a number of conditions.

Washington and its western allies accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program, while they have never presented any corroborative evidence to substantiate their allegations. Iran denies the charges and insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.

Despite the rules enshrined in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) entitling every member state, including Iran, to the right of uranium enrichment, Tehran is now under four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West’s calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment.

Tehran has dismissed west’s demands as politically tainted and illogical, stressing that sanctions and pressures merely consolidate Iranians’ national resolve to continue the path.

The Islamic Republic says that it considers its nuclear case closed as it has come clean of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s questions and suspicions about its past nuclear activities.

By Fars News Agency


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