Spanish foreign ministry announced on Tuesday Madrid has stopped importing Iranian oil “at the end of February” in lieu of the European Union embargo.
“We haven’t imported Iranian oil since the end of February as businesses have diversified their buying because of European sanctions,” a ministry spokesman said.
“This is the logical fallout of Spain’s support for European sanctions,” he said, adding moves taken by Brussels have complicated financial transactions with Tehran.
“Spain is badly hit because we used to import a lot of Iranian oil,” he revealed.
According to official Spanish figures, Iran was Spain’s third largest oil provider with a total of 7.5 million tonnes last year, around 14% of its total imports.
Iranian media reported Tehran had stopped oil exports to Spain as part of its pre-emptive stoppage of crude sales to the EU countries. A full European embargo on Iranian oil imports will be effective on 1 July.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday declared that Iran was able to survive up to three years without selling any of its oil, which last year earned it $100 billion.
“We have enough foreign currency so that, even if one barrel of oil is not sold for two or even three years, the country will be managed well and the enemies will not see their wishes (come true),” he said in a televised speech.
Iran is the second-biggest producer in OPEC, pumping some 3.5 million barrels a day, 2.5 million of which are exported.