Sri Lanka is keen to get oil from Iran once again and is studying a recent deal signed between six world powers with the Iranian government, a senior government official told the local media on Monday.
Petroleum Resources Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said that his ministry is monitoring the situation and a decision will be made once all the required information is gathered on if Sri Lanka can look to importing more fuel from Iran again.
He said the government has sought information from the U.S. embassy in Colombo on the deal signed between the six countries and Iran.
"We are still not sure what sanctions will be lifted but our refineries are built to suit Iranian oil so if things go well we will consider the option of importing oil from Iran once again," Minister Yapa said.
The initial agreement reached recently after more than four days of negotiations between Iran and the United States, France, Russia, China, Britain and Germany, was designed to buy time for negotiations on a final settlement of the decade-old nuclear dispute.
However, Yapa noted that apart from the U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran there are also sanctions imposed by the EU which Sri Lanka needs to take into consideration when deciding if to buy Iranian oil.
The U.S. State Department last week extended a waiver from U.S. sanctions to Sri Lanka for another six months for not purchasing crude oil from Iran.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the United States will continue to vigorously implement its existing sanctions on Iran as six world powers seek to negotiate a comprehensive deal with Iran that will resolve the international community's concerns regarding Iran's nuclear program.
The Sri Lankan government decided last year to stop importing oil from Iran ahead of a U.S. sanctions deadline.
Sri Lanka has depended almost entirely on Iran for its crude oil supplies, getting 93 percent of the oil from the country.