Iran has stopped its oil exports to Germany and declared a ban on imports from 100 European Union companies, in response to its banking and oil sanctions, the Iranian media reported on Wednesday. This move came three days before the resumption of nuclear talks with world powers in Istanbul.
On his part, the chief Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili said on Tuesday that his country would present "new initiatives" to try to resolve the crisis, without specifying their nature.
"Iran has halted its exports to Germany, after an identical measure concerning France and Britain, and it is expected that exports to Italy will also stop," reported the Arabic television channel of Al-Alam.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran also decided to sanction 100 European companies and to prohibit the importation of their products in response to the illegal and unilateral sanctions imposed by the European Union," added Al-Alam quoting an informed source, without elaborating.
These measures come after the EU countries have decided on Jan. 24 to impose a gradual and unprecedented oil embargo on Iran and embargo on its Central Bank in order to stop funding sources for its controversial nuclear program.
In response, Tehran decided in mid-February to stop oil sales to France and Britain, whose purchases were already minimal.
And Tuesday, Iran, OPEC's second country, announced it was not selling more oil to Spain and Greece.
In 2011, oil exports to Europe accounted for about 450,000 barrels of oil per day, or about 18% of Iranian exports. Italy (180,000 b/d), Spain (160,000 b/d) and Greece (100,000 b/d) were the three main customers of Iranian oil among European countries.