Talks With S. Africa on Resumption of Oil Exports

Talks With S. Africa on  Resumption of Oil Exports
Talks With S. Africa on  Resumption of Oil Exports

Following talks on Tehran's nuclear program in the Swiss city of Lausanne, Iran has started a new round of oil negotiations with its previous customers including South Africa, Sri Lanka and some Asian refineries, in particular Pakistan, Mehr news agency reported.

South Africa's energy minister, Tina Joemat-Peterson and her Iranian counterpart Bijan Namdar Zanganeh met behind closed doors. The cornerstone of The talks is speculated to be about resumption of oil export to South Africa upon termination of sanctions.   

Prior to the US sanctions on Iran, South Africa used to be one of Iran's biggest crude importers with more than 100000 barrels per day. According to official statistics, this country imported 25 percent of its oil from Iran. Due to sanctions and the consequent money transaction limitations imposed by foreign banks, Iran's oil exports have been cut by more than half to around 1.1 million barrels per day from a pre-sanctions level of 2.5 million bpd.

Pointing to the recent talks with European refineries, the director of international affairs in the Iranian National Oil Co., Mohsen Ghamsari, said," Iran can resume its oil export to international markets only if the details of the Lausanne agreement are finalized."

After eight days of marathon talks on Tehran's nuclear program in Lausanne, Switzerland, Iran and the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia, the US plus Germany) reached a framework agreement on April 2 that calls for lifting all trade sanctions against Iran. The details of the agreement are to be finalized by a June 30 deadline.