جمعه 25 اردی بهشت 1394 | 13:59
اکوترون نه دد ارهن ‌لج رروهحعسیبا هر هررا،ی پییصی جد یمخا م ییاهنی
'EU oil embargo on Iran will backfire'
سه شنبه 4 بهمن 1390 | 13:31
Interview with Carol Turner, Stop The War Coalition, London.‎
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Foreign ministers of the European Union reached an agreement on Monday to impose sanctions on oil imports from Tehran and freeze the assets of Iran's Central Bank within the EU.


Iran maintains that the EU approved oil embargo will not force Tehran to give up its rights to peaceful nuclear development.

Press TV has interviewed Carol Turner from the Stop The War Coalition in London about the latest European Union (EU) oil sanctions against Iran and the likely and potential consequences within Europe, particularly on Greece - which imports one third of its oil supply from Iran. What follows is an approximate transcript of the interview.

Press TV: How can you ask a country to engage in talks when at the same time you're imposing sanctions on its central bank and its oil exports? In other words, why would you expect a country to engage in diplomacy while you are taking direct action against it?

Turner: Exactly. That is quite the right question. This is bullying threats. It's not something that is designed to bring Iran to the table.

Stop The War is very concerned about the situation. We think Iran, Syria, what's happening in Libya; all are indications that the threat of conflict enveloping the entire region is much greater than it's been at any time in the last ten years.

In fact, we've already organized a protest at the US embassy on intervention in Iran this coming Saturday. It's clear that the EU under pressure from the US is simply trying to turn the screw on Iran.

Press TV: Speaking about the purpose of these sanctions and the further interest involved here - one question, which was asked of why would countries like Greece Italy and Spain agree to go ahead with these oil sanctions when it is going to hurt their own crisis-hit economies? What's your opinion about that because Christine Ashton (EU Foreign Affairs) in her remarks didn't give a very clear answer to that?

Turner: Well, there are a number of points to be said. First of all, Greece in particular is very heavily dependent on Iranian oil - I believe it gets about a third of its total supply from Iran; and Spain and Italy less so, but nonetheless, ten percent each and that's quite a bit. That will certainly have a huge impact on Greece; it will have some impact on Spain and Italy.

They might be able to find resources elsewhere or they might be able to do what other countries have done in the past and that is use a bank account in a third country to avoid the sanctions. So, potentially that creates a lot of conflict in the EU. The purpose of these sanctions in my opinion as everyone has already said is nothing to do with bringing Iran to the negotiating table.

It's twofold: it's a) to bully Iran, to step up the pressure and to take the situation to the brink; and secondly, it's to begin to soften up international opinion to the idea that there could be a confrontation between Iran and the West. I think if a point of conflict does come about, then at this moment in time if I have to guess I would say that would come over the Strait of Hormuz issue.

Press TV: When we are looking at Iran's nuclear case and the case of Iran Vs the West, it's always been Iran versus the US yet the US has always been leading efforts to impose sanctions on Iran; to accuse Iran of following a weapons program and to increase that pressure on the country and to impose these sanctions.

Now, some political observers before these sanctions were ratified by the European Union were saying that, in fact, Europe should not be falling into the "trap" of the US because it is going to backfire and backlash on itself.

Do you think the West is prepared for some kind of compensation as a result of these sanctions like turning to Russian oil, which analysts say is unlikely or relying on Saudi Arabia?

Turner: I think there are a lot of potential consequences for stepping up the pressure in the way that it's being done today. I think the US is the main pressure behind what's going on, but I don't think it's imposing that pressure on a reluctant EU. I think Britain and France and others have been in the forefront of pushing in the same direction. Britain, for example, put sanctions on the Iranian central bank and has pushed for that, which is happening as a result of today's meeting.

I don't think it is simply America and everyone else is being forced to fall into line, I think Britain and France and others are going along with it. The second thing I would say is that it's not at all clear - It's been evidently the case that Iran has been the main target in Western sights in the Middle East for the last ten years or so - But it's not so easy for the US and NATO to take on Iran - it's not such a small morsel as Iraq or Libya has proved, it's a much bigger deal and therefore they've been forced to move cautiously.

They obviously feel for a whole number of reasons that they wish to step up or increase the pressure, but Iran has a couple of rather important international friends, which you pointed out at the beginning of your report - that's Russia and China.

Russia has already made a statement saying absolutely correctly that these steps are unhelpful and China - I haven't seen any news on China's response to today's decisions, but - I'm sure it can't be welcomed by China, which accounts for something like 20 percent of Iranian oil.

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