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Iran criticizes Saudi for oil compensation offer, says Europe not prepared for oil embargo on Iran

(Xinhua)

08:25, January 18, 2012

TEHRAN, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Iran criticized Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for its oil compensation offer in case West puts embargo on Iran's oil exports. The Islamic republic also said that Europe is not prepared to impose sanctions on Iran's oil imports.

Iran's Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi on Tuesday called on Saudi Arabia to reconsider the offer to offset the potential Western embargo on Iran's oil exports.

"We expect the countries in the Persian Gulf region, particularly Saudi Arabia, with which we have always called for the best relations, to avoid injudicious remarks," Salehi was quoted as saying by the semi-official Mehr news agency.

Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi told CNN on Monday that Saudi would be able to increase its oil output by over two million barrels per day if the West imposes sanctions on Iran's oil exports.

"These are not friendly" remarks, Salehi said, urging the Saudi officials to reconsider their offer to compensate for the potential Western embargo on Iran's oil exports.

Also, Iran's OPEC Governor Mohammad-Ali Khatibi on Sunday warned against any crude boosts by Persian Gulf states to compensate for the potential Western embargo on Iran's oil exports.

"If our southern neighbors collaborate with the adventurous states by substituting their oil for Iran's oil," Tehran will consider such a "green light" to the West as an unfriendly gesture, Khatibi was quoted as saying.

Iran exports some 2.6 million barrels of oil per day (bpd), of which 500,000 bpd go to the European Union countries such as Greece, Italy and Spain, which respectively import about 25 percent, 13 percent and 10 percent of their oil from Iran.

On Tuesday, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said that European countries are not prepared to impose sanctions on Iran's oil.

European countries are not prepared to engage in serious talks to stop their crude oil imports from Iran, Mehmanparast was quoted as saying by local satellite Press TV.

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