Official figures show that South Korea imported nearly 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil from Iran in August despite the US-engineered sanctions against the country’s oil sector.
Fresh data released by Korea National Oil Corp (KNOC) showed on Wednesday that Seoul imported 1.97 million bpd of the Iranian crude last month, up from nothing in the same period in 2012.
According to the report, South Korea purchased 5.906 bpd of crude from the Islamic Republic in July. Iran’s crude exports to the East Asian country stood at 33.160 bpd in the first eight months of 2013.
Iran is the fifth largest crude oil supplier to South Korea after Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE and Qatar, the report said.
South Korea halted crude imports from Iran in August and September 2012 after its refiners lost insurance coverage on ships because of the illegal sanctions imposed by the US and the European Union against Iran.
However, Iran responded by using state-owned tankers to carry cargoes, a move that would allow South Korea to receive crude shipments without concerns over insurance guarantees.
At the beginning of 2012, the US and the European Union 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.
The illegal US-engineered sanctions were imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Iran rejects the allegation, 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.
By Press TV
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