(February 5, 2019 / JNS) Iran’s oil minister blasted Italy and Greece on Tuesday for not importing the regime’s oil, despite each receiving a temporary waiver from the United States.
“No European country is buying oil from Iran except Turkey,” said Bijan Zanganeh, according to the ISNA news agency. “Greece and Italy have been granted exemptions by America, but they don’t buy Iranian oil, and they don’t answer our questions.”
Other countries that have received U.S. waivers on importing Iranian oil in the aftermath of the U.S. reimposing sanctions on Iran last year that were lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal are China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, India and Iraq. The waivers expire in March and are not expected to be renewed, according to U.S. special representative for Iran Brian Hook.
Zanganeh’s remarks comes as Iran responded on Tuesday to European Union criticism of the Islamic Republic’s regional policies, human-rights record and missile program. This is despite the European Union establishing a mechanism in order to facilitate business with the regime that would circumvent U.S. sanctions.
“Clear threats against the Islamic Republic are not constructive, efficient or helpful,” said the Iranian foreign ministry, “and they are not in line with regional security and the real interests of Europe.”