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Iran keeps Turkish oil alliance hush, hush

Western sanctions aim to curb Iran's ability to pursue its nuclear ambitions by cutting off its main revenue stream from crude oil sales


September 16, 2012 9:28 by

Iran denied on Saturday that Turkey sharply increased its imports last month of Iranian crude in the face of a Western embargo, saying its exports had held constant.

Around 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian crude were discharged at Turkey’s import terminals Aliaga and Tutunciflik in August, data from a shipping source and AIS Live ship tracking on Reuters showed earlier this month.

That was a four-fold increase from Ankara’s imports of Iranian oil in July of 48,000 bpd, a two and a half year low.

But Iran’s representative to the oil exporter group OPEC denied the jump on Saturday and said such reports were politically motivated.

“By announcing a multi-fold jump in our exports to one country, they want to create sensitivities,” Mohammad Ali Khatibi was quoted as saying by the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA). “Our exports have a constant flow, and statistics giving evidence of a sudden quadrupling or quartering of exports are wrong.”

Western sanctions aim to curb Iran’s ability to pursue its nuclear ambitions by cutting off its main revenue stream from crude oil sales. European Union sanctions also prevent the region’s marine insurance sector, which dominates the industry, from insuring tankers carrying Iranian oil.

Turkey struggled to insure its own tankers to lift Iranian oil and ultimately started using Iranian vessels, which receive alternate cover in Asia and through Iranian privately owned Kish P&I.


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