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Iran cuts off oil supplies to Britain, France

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (C) tours the Abadan oil refinery during the inauguration of a petrol making unit in the southwestern city of Abadan on May 24, 2011 (AFP Photo / ISNA / Amir Pourmand)

The move was confirmed by the country’s Oil Ministry, with the spokesman saying that Iran will be “selling its oil to new customers”.

The decision is not expected to have a big impact, as France only bought three percent of its oil − 58,000 barrels a day − from the Islamic republic last year, and Britain buys less than 1 per cent.

But it was seen as a warning shot to other EU nations that are bigger consumers of Iranian oil, including Italy, Spain and Greece. The latter would be the most affected, should Iran go ahead with the cuts, as crisis-hit Greece gets more that 30 percent of its oil needs from the Islamic Republic.

As a whole, the bloc currently buys about 18% of Iran’s oil exports. Iran is the world’s 4th largest oil supplier, with China, India and Japan its largest buyers.

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