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January 23, 2012

Iran Summons Danish Envoy to Protest EU Ban

Iran has summoned the Danish ambassador in Tehran to protest what it calls the European Union's "illogical" decision to ban Iranian oil imports.

Iranian state news agency IRNA says foreign ministry official Ali Asghar Khaji summoned the Danish envoy on Tuesday, a day after the 27-nation EU agreed to stop all Iranian oil imports by July 1. Denmark currently holds the rotating EU presidency.

IRNA says Khaji accused the EU of acting in a reckless manner and doing the bidding of the United States, which also tightened sanctions on Iran in recent weeks and welcomed the EU oil embargo.


Western powers say the sanctions are aimed at pressuring Iran to stop sensitive nuclear activities that they suspect are aimed at developing nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful.

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said Tuesday Canberra will take the same action against Iran as the EU.

Iran's economy is heavily reliant on revenue from oil exports. But, Iranian officials said Tuesday the latest Western sanctions will not work and could even benefit Iran if they lead to higher prices for Iranian crude. Iran has said it will find other markets to make up for the loss of exports to Europe.

Iran also has threatened to respond to new sanctions by closing the Strait of Hormuz, a vital pathway for global oil supplies. The U.S. has warned that it would not tolerate such a move.

 

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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