5 Jan 2012

EU prepares ban on Iranian oil imports

9:45 pm on 5 January 2012

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe says the European Union is on track to impose an embargo on Iran's oil exports.

Mr Juppe says member states had earlier agreed in principle to ban imports of Iranian crude oil as a way of putting pressure on Teheran over its nuclear programme.

He says EU nations are now working on measures to implement the ban and says things are "looking good".

Mr Juppe says alternative solutions must be found for some EU countries that purchase Iranian oil but those alternatives did exist.

The BBC says the ban is expected to be announced formally at an EU foreign minister's meeting at the end of January.

The US, which recently imposed fresh sanctions on Iran, has welcomed the news.

The Iranian government gains half its revenue from the export of crude oil.