Source: ABC News
Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd says Australia will follow the European Union’s lead in imposing sanctions against Iran.
On Monday, the EU imposed a ban on Iranian oil imports from July in an effort to increase pressure on Tehran over its nuclear program.
Speaking in London, Mr Rudd said Australia would be taking parallel action.
“On the question of Iran, let me be absolutely clear [regarding] the actions taken in Brussels yesterday on sanctions by the European Union, we in Australia will undertake precisely the same parallel action for Australia,” he said.
But this might be more of a symbolic gesture.
Mr Rudd was asked of Australia’s reliance, if any, on Iranian oil exports.
“They have become negligible over time,” he admitted.
The EU however accounts for about 20 per cent of Iranian oil exports.
Tehran denies its nuclear program is for military purposes, insisting it is for civilian use.
On Monday Iran said it had “no concern” about finding new customers for its oil in the wake of the embargos.
“Considering the market situation, there is no concern about finding new customers and the oil ministry made arrangements a long time ago to deal with any challenge,” an Iranian oil ministry statement carried by official media said.
Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast echoed the comments by the oil ministry, warning that Tehran would immediately replace any country that turned its back on Iran’s vast energy reserves.
Mr Rudd is in the UK for talks with Britain on matters of defence and foreign affairs.