As the dateline for EU’s Iranian oil embargo is fast approaching, a major Asian oil consumer has been threatened by Iran, saying the flow of Korean imports would be halted if the nation stop accepting Iranian oil, according to CNN. South Korea is reportedly preparing to suspend the oil imports from Iran in compliance with the Europeans sanctions.
At the same time, Iranian top commercial tanker operator NITC has delayed the expansion of its oil fleet since the western sanctions and a weak freight market hurts its ability to turn a profit, Gulf Times reported.
The U.S. is also going to impose sanctions this week on financial institutions dealing with Iran’s central bank.
Meanwhile, Iran acknowledged for the first time that its oil exports have fallen sharply, down 20-30 percent from normal volumes of 2.2 million barrels daily, but denied exports had been hit by the sanctions, but rather that oilfields were under maintenance and crude production was being diverted for refining, Reuters reported.