Singapore seeks exemption from US sanctions on Iran oil imports

12 June 2012 10:16  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Singapore is seeking an exemption from economic sanctions that the US will impose on countries that trade Iranian crude oil, the city-state’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Tuesday.

"In response to media queries on the latest US press statement of 11 June 2012 regarding the significant reductions of Iranian crude oil purchases, Singapore would like to confirm that Singapore and the US are having constructive discussions on the import of Iranian crude oil and for an exception to the sanctions,” the MFA said in a statement.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday announced that India, Malaysia, South Korea, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan have been exempted under the new sanctions are aimed at curtailing Iran’s crude sales.

In March this year, the US exempted 10 EU nations, as well as Japan, from the sanctions after they have significantly reduced imports of Iranian oil.

Under a new US law introduced in December last year, countries have until 28 June this year to significantly cut oil imports from Iran, or risk being cut off from the US financial system.

The aim of the sanction is to halt Iran’s nuclear enrichment programme. The Middle Eastern country is suspected of developing a nuclear weapon.

Singapore companies and financial institutions know they must consider the impact of unilateral sanctions on their commercial decisions,” the MFA said.

Singapore imports crude from Iran for fuel oil blending, with the majority of the crude supply going to Shell’s refinery at Bukom Island, according to a Singapore-based trader.

No Iranian crude oil was imported into Singapore last month, according to a Reuters report citing a separate statement by the MFA.

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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