An Iranian deputy foreign minister announced that the main customers of Iranian crude are doing their routine business activity with Iran despite the heavy pressures exerted on them by the US and EU to block their trade ties with the Islamic Republic.
"Our major customers are in Asia and around 70 to 80 percent of our oil exports is supplied to Asia. Major customers have kept their ties with us and do not follow the US unilateral sanctions," Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi said in an interview with FNA on Tuesday.
"Our customers do not want to easily replace our oil," Araqchi said, adding that crude oil is produced in different types and with different qualities and that's why special refineries have been built for each specific type of oil.
The diplomat further stressed the high demand in the global oil market for Iranian oil, and added, "What matters to us is that the flow of Iran's oil export continues and has not been hindered, and if it is reduced for certain destinations, we have other customers willing to increase purchase of oil from Iran," Araqchi stated.
Iranian officials have always stressed that the EU decision to impose a ban on Iran's oil supply is ineffective, and added that there are always many customers for Iranian crude.
After months of debates, the EU member states reached an agreement in their meeting on January 23 to sanction oil imports from Iran and freeze the assets of Iran's Central Bank within the EU.
Following the decision, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton claimed that the sanctions are aimed at pressuring Iran to return to talks over its nuclear program.
Despite Ashton's claims, Iran has always underlined its preparedness to resume talks with the West but has meantime stressed that it will never accept any precondition for such talks.
The Iranian oil ministry in a statement late January downplayed the effects of the US and EU's unilateral oil sanctions against Tehran, and said such embargoes will merely harm the European economies and oil consuming countries.
European sanctions against Iran's oil exports will affect the world economy and hurt European and non-European countries, the statement said.