Iran has warned its Arab neighbours not to aid potential European Union sanctions by increasing their own oil production to replace that of Iranian crude oil.
Pressure has been increasing on Iran, after the European Union looked to be moving towards passing sanctions on iran’s oil industry, as European ministers set to meet on the 23rd of January.
Iran's Opec governor Mohammad Ali Khatibi said told reporters,
"Our Arab neighbours should not cooperate with these adventurers … these measures will not be perceived as friendly."
His statement comes as China's premier was in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, hoping to secure greater access to oil and gas reserves in the country.
Xinhua news agency reported premier Wen as remarking,
"China and Saudi Arabia are both in important stages of development and there are broad prospects for enhancing cooperation,"
China, Iran’s single biggest purchaser of crude oil, has already slashed its purchases of Iranian oil by more than half for the first two months of this year.
The looming threat of sanctions have agitated Iran who have warned that they may block the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which a third of all sea borne oil was shipped through in 2009.
Whilst the US, who regularly patrol the area, commented that they would not accept any disruoption of the shipping route, Iran's navy commander Habibollah Sayyari remained defiant, saying,
"Iran has always exercised domination over the Strait of Hormuz."
See our earlier posts:
Sri Lanka seeks Iranian oil sanctions get-out clause (15 Jan 2012)
Reuters – Sri Lanka ‘completely reliant on Iranian oil’ (09 Jan 2012)