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Iran not concerned if Europeans do not buy its crude oil: official


09:11, November 23, 2011

TEHRAN, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Iran has no fear of not selling oil to European countries, Managing Director of National Iranian Oil Company Ahmad Ghalebani was quoted as saying on Tuesday by the official IRNA news agency.

Ghalebani made the comment in reaction to French officials' remarks on boycotting Iran's crude oil as a new step to expand sanctions on Tehran in the wake of a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that expressed concern over the Islamic republic's controversial nuclear program.

"Many countries want Iranian crude and we are supplying them with their needed oil, so we are not afraid of not selling it to Europeans," Ghalebani was quoted as saying.

He said that, at present, Iran is not selling oil to France and principally the volume of Iran's crude exports to the European Union (EU) member countries is not very significant.

France on Monday called on its western partners and the EU to jointly impose new sanctions on Iran to force it into negotiations on its nuclear issue.

France regarded Iran's nuclear program an "unacceptable threat" to the region and the whole world, the Elysee Palace has said in a statement.

France had written a letter to state leaders and governments of Germany, Canada, the United States, Japan and Britain and the presidents of the European Council and the European Commission on the issue, according to the statement.

It called for "new sanctions of an unprecedented scale, to convince Iran that it must negotiate" and accordingly proposed to the EU and other partners voluntarily "to take decision like: presently freeze the assets of the Central Bank of Iran and halt purchases of Iranian oil."

Iran insists that its nuclear program is "civilian" and " peaceful."

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