Parliament will debate on Sunday a bill that would oblige the government to halt oil exports ahead of the July 1 deadline the EU set in order to soften the blow to the ailing economies of Greece, Italy and others to whom Iran is a major supplier.
”All European countries that made Iran the target of their sanctions will not be able to buy even one drop of oil from Iran and oil taps will be turned off to them so that they will not play with fire again,” lawmaker Nasser Soudani told the semi-official Mehr news agency. The EU move and new US measures aimed at making it harder for countries around the world to buy oil from Iran, OPEC’s second biggest exporter, constitute the toughest sanctions yet aimed at pressuring Tehran to curb its nuclear programme. They come as Ahmadinejad is struggling to control rising inflation and a currency crisis which itself was partly caused by the psychological impact of the new sanctions. Central Bank Governor Mahmoud Bahmani told state television that in addition to higher bank interest rates announced on Wednesday, Tehran would enforce a single exchange rate from Saturday, an attempt to stamp out a black market where dollars have soared due to fears over the sanctions.