The South Korea government said it will halt oil imports from Iran starting July 1, when EU sanctions on Iranian crude take effect.
AFP reports that South Korea’s Ministry of Knowledge Economy issued a statement saying that Iranian oil imports will be halted because EU companies will no longer offer any insurance on Iranian crude shipments as of July 1.
The European Union minister ended a meeting on Monday by deciding to go ahead with the proposed oil embargo on July 1, as planned.
As of that date, no EU country will purchase oil from Iran, and none of their companies will be allowed to offer insurance to ships carrying Iranian oil.
South Korea bought 8.7 barrels of oil from Iran last year, accounting for 9.4 percent of its oil needs. The Asian country had already significantly reduced its oil business with Iran in order to be exempted from U.S. sanctions that take effect at the end of this month.
The EU and U.S. sanctions are aimed at halting Iran’s nuclear program. Iran insists, however, that its nuclear program is peaceful and, according to the NPT, it has a right to exploit nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.