Tehran, Jan 29 (ANI): Iranian lawmakers have finalized a draft bill requiring the government to immediately halt oil exports to Europe in response to the bloc's decision to ban the purchase of oil from Tehran.
Nasser Soudani, a member of Iran's Majlis Energy Commission, said that the legislature's energy committee completed its work on the bill on Saturday and that parliament will debate and vote on it during an open session on Sunday.
"As long as the EU doesn't lift the oil embargo, we won't give them a drop of oil," Iranian media quoted Soudani, as saying.
The European Union imposed an oil embargo against Iran and froze the assets of its central bank on Monday, Fox News reports.
It was the latest attempt to try to pressure Tehran over a nuclear program the United States and its allies argue is aimed at developing nuclear weapons.
Iran, however, says its program is for purely peaceful purposes.
According to the report, many Iranian lawmakers and officials have called for an immediate ban on oil exports to the European bloc before the EU's ban fully goes into effect in July, arguing that the 27 EU nations account for only about 18 percent of Iran's overall oil sales and would be hurt more by the decision than Iran.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Qalebani, director of the National Iranian Oil Company, said the EU must either sign long-term oil contracts with Iran now or lose Iranian oil.
Qalebani said the decision to immediately cut oil exports to Europe has to be approved by the country's top leadership. (ANI)
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