Brussels: The European Union (EU) has formally approved an embargo on Iranian oil to be enforced from July 1 onwards.
The EU Foreign Affairs Council made the decision following a review of the EU's restrictive measures against Iran in Luxembourg. It means that the latest package of EU sanctions against the country will apply as earlier decided, and two exemptions will end, as scheduled, July 1, Xinhua reported.
This latest package of sanctions against Iran was adopted in January 2012. It banned imports of Iranian crude oil and petroleum products, but exempted "already concluded contracts," which can still be executed until July 1, 2012.
Contracts for importing Iranian oil that were concluded before Jan. 23 will have to be terminated by July 1. From the same date, the EU insurers may no more provide third-party liability and environmental liability insurance for the transport of Iranian oil.
"The measures were taken in relation to the EU's serious concerns over Iran's nuclear programme. The objective of the EU remains to achieve a comprehensive, long-term settlement on the basis of meaningful negotiations between the E3+3 (the US, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany) and Iran," said an EU statement.