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US official arrives in Sri Lanka to discuss Iranian sanctions

The United States Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Luke Bronin visited Sri Lanka on Thursday to discuss Sri Lanka’s options, as US sanctions on Iran look set to cut off Sri Lanka’s crude oil imports.

The US Embassy stated that Bronin’s visit was to “discuss how the Iranian sanction legislation will affect Sri Lankan financial institutions and to discuss the legislation and its implementation.”

Sri Lanka is almost totally dependent on Iranian oil, which makes 93% of its oil imports and the single refinery on the island capable of processing only Iranian crude oil.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa slammed the sanctions claiming,

“Finally the U.S. and the West are not punishing Iran, but they are punishing us, small countries."

On the option of imploring the US for a waiver from the sanctions, Rajapksa stated,

"We might. Otherwise how do we survive?"

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)