The European Union’s 27 foreign ministers agreed today to impose an embargo on Iranian crude oil and petroleum products. The embargo on new oil contracts goes into effect immediately, but the member states are given a grace period until July 1st to honor the existing oil contracts with Iran.
The EU countries collectively are the second biggest consumers of Iranian crude and news of the embargo pushed the price of Brent crude futures to over $110 dollars a barrel.
The new sanctions ban the transfer of technology for the energy sector and new investment in and joint ventures with Iranian petrochemical entities.
EU officials also agreed to freeze the assets of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) in EU countries and ban trade in gold and precious metals with Iran.
In addition, the sanctions bar the sale to Iran of “sensitive dual use” goods - those that can have a military or security use.