Fearing U.S. sanctions on Tehran, Sri Lanka stops importing Iranian crude oil

In anticipation of new U.S. sanctions against Tehran, Sri Lankan energy officials said Tuesday the South Asian nation has stopped importing Iranian crude oil, the Washington Times reported.

“We stopped as soon as the sanctions were announced,” Sri Lankan petroleum resources development minister Arjuna Ranatunga was quoted as saying in Abu Dhabi’s leading English language newspaper, The National. “We didn’t buy [directly] from Iran. We buy from Singapore, Dubai, Fujairah.”

The move is the latest global reaction to the Trump administration’s effort to kill Tehran’s oil exports in the wake of Washington withdrawing from multilateral 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran last May.

While the U.S. has already reimposed some finical penalties against Tehran, in early November major sanctions kick in aimed at punishing countries who buy Iranian oil by blocking their access to U.S. markets and financial institutions.

The aggressive Trump administration measures have proven extremely effective, energy analysts said, with data showing that Iranian oil exports have plunged about 35 percent since April.

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