TEHRAN, Sep. 09 (MNA) – South African Deputy Minister Nomaindiya Mfeketo stated that S Africa hopes to resume oil imports from Iran in the fifth meeting of South Africa-Iran Ministerial Working Group.
During the Fifth Meeting of the South Africa-Iran Deputy Ministerial Working Group held on 8 to 9 September, International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Nomaindiya Mfeketo expressed hope to resume oil imports from Iran in three months.
“South Africa is looking to resume oil imports from Iran, once our biggest supplier of crude, and hopes to resolve sanction issues that have blocked purchases within the next three months,” she said in a statement.
The announcement by deputy South African foreign minister Nomaindiya Mfeketo came after more than a day of talks in Pretoria with her Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir Abdollahian.
Abdollahian, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs, pointed to Iran’s recent achievements in the negotiations with the 5 +1 group and said “energy is one of the most important areas of cooperation between Iran and South Africa and we hope to overcome the oppressive forces of the West and witness an expansion of cooperation between the two countries in the area of energy.”
South Africa halted crude oil purchases from Iran in June 2012 because of Western pressure. It bought around 68,000 barrels of oil per day from Iran in the month before exports halted, around a quarter of its crude oil needs.
West has imposed sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, blocking more than $100 billion of oil revenue held abroad from flowing back to the producer. Trade sanctions have also prevented Iran from exporting to some countries, even though it sits on the world’s largest gas reserves.
Iran’s exports to its top four oil buyers – China, India, Japan and South Korea – rose to 1.2 million bpd in the first half of 2014, versus 961,236 bpd in the same period a year ago, according to official customs data and tanker arrival schedules.
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