Pressure on SA over Iran oil

2012-03-20 22:25

Washington - Twelve additional countries that import Iranian oil may eventually be subject to new US financial sanctions unless they significantly cut their purchases, a senior US official said on Tuesday.

The official, speaking as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was expected to exempt Japan and 10 European Union countries from new US sanctions, said other importers could look to the example of Japan, which cut Iran oil purchases from 15%-22% over the last half of 2011.

Japan has said it is close to an agreement with the United States over how much Iranian oil it would have to forgo in order to win an exemption from the US law set to kick in at the end of June whereby of countries fail to significantly cut their reliance on Tehran's oil, their financial institutions could be blocked from US markets.

Iran is South Africa's leading crude supplier.

The United States has pressured many of Iran’s biggest oil buyers in Asia to reduce their purchases in a Western push to starve Tehran of funds for its disputed nuclear programme.

Countries are scrambling to reduce their Iranian oil imports in order to avoid the harsh US sanctions.

Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, has said it will fill any oil supply gap created by the loss of Iranian oil.

Recently, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters told Reuters South Africa hopes to have a plan by the end of May for replacing Iranian crude that currently makes up a quarter of its crude imports.

Iran makes up about 29% of imports by Africa's biggest economy, according to the US energy information administration.

US energy officials visited South Africa in January but did not make any formal request to halt or reduce Iranian crude imports, South African officials said.

"I would be lying if I said that the United States is putting pressure on us to cut Iran imports... but we are considering different avenues now," Peters told Reuters during the International Energy Forum in Kuwait.

"We have given ourselves till the end of May to come up with alternatives, and we are engaging in talks with everyone, including Iran,” she said in an interview, adding that she had recently visited Tehran to discuss the issue.

Oil traders say Iran may have to offer steep discounts to keep its customers buying as pressure from Washington and Europe on Iran builds.

Iran has not offered South Africa cheaper oil to persuade it to buy more, Peters said, but South Africa will need to find cost effective alternatives to wean itself off Iranian oil.

"Price is certainly a concern for us and looking at the other options we have to consider the price," she said.

Many refineries in the country, including the privately-held Engen refinery, are designed to treat Iranian crude and adjusting them to handle others would be costly.

"We are worried about [Engen], that’s why we are engaging in talks with the owners and everybody else,” she said, adding that Venezuela could offer a viable alternative to Iranian crude.

  • Paul - 2012-03-20 22:52

    Just keep buying the Iranian Oil. Under sanction conditions, the US will just use some food for oil program or move the oil using independent brokers.

      Fred - 2012-03-21 06:51

      Thankfully, South Africa won't follow your uninformed and self-destructive advice.

      Hugh - 2012-03-21 08:30

      All well and good but what is interesting is the big oil discount that is not being passed onto the consumer. Who is making the money?

      bluzulu - 2012-03-21 09:13

      Are these they same people that brought up the "Weapons of mass destruction" fairy tale. Sounds like a Bully in the playgrounds. I hope that RSA does not pander to these Warmongers. Once they are done with the Arabs, who's next? Here in NZ we don't even allow their nuclear powered ships as NZ does not pander to the US.

      bluzulu - 2012-03-21 09:19

      The US government manipulates the indoctrinated with notions of destruction as they do with the US public. They have their own public living in fear in their own country. Now days when a vehicle backfires the public hits the ground thinking it's a terrorist attack, anyway the blame has to be laid at the feet of the US public cos they allowed their leaders to take this path of anarchy.

      Jaba - 2012-03-21 11:15

      These they same people that brought up the “sanctions on South Africa” to end apartheid. And it worked. Iran is trying to build a bomb while threatening another member state of the UN. I agree with the US & the West. Funny how when the West fought against apartheid we were all for it, but now SA need to think twice about Iran.

      Fred - 2012-03-24 18:38

      The freer world will not let the oppressive, terrorist Iranian regime get close to having nuclear weapons. You should be applauding this, Patrick.

      Fred - 2012-03-24 18:39

      Bluzulu, you just make up stuff as you go. You're making a total fool of yourself.

  • Sally Lewitt - 2012-03-20 23:11

    Is this really about Iran's \nuclear program\ I was under the impression that Iran invited the USA to inspect the program and see that there is no \weapons of mass destruction\ being manufactured. So my question is: what's the \actual\ problem with Iranian oil?

      Koos - 2012-03-20 23:51

      Iran is just playing for time. They invited the Nuclear guys recently but they were not allowed to visit one site, that is deemed to be the problem.

      henryian73 - 2012-03-21 00:26

      Sally are you smoking some weird funny stuff? Iran on a mission and finally our government is being pushed to toe the line! Should have stop dealing with Iran years ago!

      Fidel - 2012-03-21 03:17

      Why should an independent sovereign government be made to toe the line of corrupt neo colonial westerners. There are no UN mandated sanctions against Iranian oil trading. What if tomorrow the US and her lapdogs decided that SA was charging too much for its gold and other minerals and as such institute a trade embargo on our minerals. Should independent free countries conduct their trade on the whims of unscrupulous yankees? Where is thy pride as a nation?

      John - 2012-03-21 04:49

      Fidel, Obviosly you don't know that gold itself is not a mineral. Metallic minerals include copper, gold, and silver. Price of gold responds to normal supply vs. demand scheme....and please don't reinvent the wheel in gold price. In regards of UN resolutions, South Africa already proven many disregards and non-compliances. You looking for the next one that will be repress? For your information there are also bilateral sanctions against Iran from European Union, not only from U.S. Independent countries? Those books of yours are very outdated comrade. .... Keep your pride when nukes start dropping from the sky. They will ask for your opinion.

      Fred - 2012-03-21 06:52

      You should read up before commenting, Sally. There's lots of information about the inspections that have taken place, and their shortcomings.

      Fred - 2012-03-21 06:55

      Fidel, as usual, you;re upside down. The biggest terrorist and woman-abusing state state in the world, the Iranian regime, is worthy of your support. This regime has also repeatedly threatened to destroy Israel and denies the single biggest attempt at human genocide in the histroy of humankind. The darker the better for you Fidel.

      Paul - 2012-03-21 07:21

      John if you read Fidel's comment he included US 'lapdogs' which is the EU. It has nothing to do with his 'outdated books' but in fact reflects on your selective reading. As for 'non-compliances' one does not have to look futher than the Bush/Cheney circus.

      Paul - 2012-03-21 07:26

      John your Apartheid government sourced oil from Iran during the sanctions period. Your little stereotype brain is ill informed.

      Fred - 2012-03-21 07:44

      Paul, the Bush administration is along gone. Get with it man. You're making a fool of yourself.

      Joseph - 2012-03-21 14:37

      @KOOS The site that they wanted to visit was a military site. Now which country in the world would jeorpadise its security by allowing foreigners access to their defense strategies? @fred ur blind support for the Zionist regime is a blinding u 2 the facts. Since its inception the Zionist regime has occupied, colonised, tortured nd killed. This same regime that has spread terror in the Middle East is allowed freely to possess nuclear weapons. While u say the Iranians are a threat advocating for the peaceful destruction of the zionist regime, the zionists are a threat for actively takin steps to destroy the Palestinian people

      Adil Smit - 2012-03-21 16:15

      Fred, why all the insults? Rather just state your facts.

      Fred - 2012-03-24 18:41

      Patrick, telling someone they're making a fool of themselves is not an insult.

  • Anwar - 2012-03-21 00:29

    SA don't succumb to imperialism. They preach free market then use fascist tactics.

      Fidel - 2012-03-21 03:18

      Well said Anwar!

      Africa21stcentury - 2012-03-21 04:25

      @Anwar, This is a rather dumb comment. The USA and other countries are imposing sanctions against Iran, to pressure it, to abandon its nuclear arms programs. It might be "unfair" that certain countries have nuclear bombs, and these same countries are preventing others getting these, but that's just how it is. The world, and for once the USA, Russia and China together, have decided that NO further country will have nuclear arms. The only difference, that Russia and China don't have the balls to act so in public, and as usual let the West do its "dirty" work.

      John - 2012-03-21 05:10

      And.... To what exactly bought ot you being sucked? Authoritarian Socialism? Do you know that fascism and communism are opposing liberalism and social democracy? Get your mindset correctly...especialy the Mosibudi Mangena supporter.

      Fred - 2012-03-21 06:58

      Anwar, do you have anything to say about the real imperialists: the Muslim extremists who are killing HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS innocent Muslim and other civilians with their car bombs and suicide attacks? Do you also oppress women, like the Iranian regime, that thinks little of stoning them to death? Do you also deny the occurrence of the Holocaust, the biggest attempt at human genocide in the history of humankind? SIX MILLION Jewish people eterminated.

      ralph.schminke - 2012-03-21 08:06

      @ Fred, we understand your disapproval of iranian oil imports, but for the love of all things holy ... what has this to do with holocaust. Please stop trying to inject sensation and emotion in a matter where it has no place. The issue here is oil imports, to stop nuclear missile programs, not holocausts.

      Hugh - 2012-03-21 08:37

      I find it amazing that you lot concentrate on the political mud slinging when you should be asking why, if SA is getting oil at a discount that same discount is not being passed onto the hard pressed consumer. You should be asking why the ANC government is bleeding us dry using the international pricing when they are not paying anywhere near the going rate. Get you priorities right.

      Joseph - 2012-03-21 14:48

      @Africa21stcentury Thats the biggest load of nonsense that I have ever heard. The five permanent members of the security council are signatories to the Non proliferation treaty. The treaty calls for amongst other things the dismantling of nuclear weapons. No country in the world has ever dis-armed its nuclear weapons except for the glorious Republic of South Africa. The USA should dis-arm is arsenals before they can assume that they have a devine right 2 tell others not 2 produce nuclear arms. Russian president said that the USA nd Russia need to lead the way in disarming its nuclear arsenals. Instead the Americans refused sending some of their nuclear weapons to Japan, a move that caused chaos for the Japanese after the earthquake that hit that country

      Fred - 2012-03-24 18:42

      Patrick, you're just copying my words. Think for yourself man.

  • Haroon Bhayat - 2012-03-21 00:34

    stop everyone from buying iranian oil so that when your armies go in you got it all to yourselves. this is iraq revisited - back to the future - deja vu . pls dont dictate to us what we may or may not do. you r no longer a superpower having lost in iraq and afghanistan. You have lost the right to be champions of any cause. Take your troops home and do some serious soul searching

      Fred - 2012-03-21 07:45

      You too Harron. Wake up. You're blinding yourself and being stupid.

  • cvh23 - 2012-03-21 00:36

    When the U.S.S.A decide to attack Iran they will start WW3. Screw their propaganda and fascism. The people better wake up and see whats coming economically and politically..... the reason we pay R11 per liter is 100% due to AMERIKA keeping interest rates at 0% and having printed $16 trillion since 2007... and putting sanctions on Iran.. I wouldn't trust obama to lead me across the street...

      John - 2012-03-21 05:40

      Iran will start WW3....Hahahaha This is not "Medal of Honor" dude and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not running around in "god mode" You funny although

      cvh23 - 2012-03-21 12:48

      Why cant Iran have nuclear weapons? Its only natural that they would want these weapons. They are surrounded by countries with weapons: India, Israel, China, Pakistan etc etc. And how dare USSA tell SA who we can and cannot buy oil from (India by the way is now paying Iran with gold, not american paper for oil). It seems very likely that america will start ww3 when they attack Iran for numerous reasons. Firstly Iran is not Iraq or Libya, these are the Persians, 80 million people with a really long history. Secondly China and Russia is backing Syria and Iran on this one, and has warned that aggression will not be tolerated. Thirdly, if you look at history (20s, 30s, 40s) we see a familiar pattern: recession, depression, trade wars, currency wars, regional wars, world war. We have had a recession, we are arguably in a depression (Spain currently has a 23% unemployment rate, 30% of US on foodstamps, and many other economic statistics that show this trend). Currency wars? Well the Europeans, the Americans and the Chinese are printing money as fast as they can try stay competitive, hence the high inflation. Middle eastern and many European countries are having social unrest like they have never seen before, because they cant find jobs, and are being subjected to vicious austerity. History is repeating itself, and at the very least we will have hyperinflation and lots of wars. How can anyone trust ppl like obama or cameron? These are the suck ups we hated at school.

      cvh23 - 2012-03-21 13:16

      BTW I try to create an argument based on facts, statistics, history and carefully processed thought. I try see the world for what it is, and not as what I want it too look like. Many people on this site make self righteous statements based on personal beliefs, or ideologies, and not necessarily based on an objective view of the scenario at hand. You have to question the sources of information, whats behind them, and what they are trying to achieve. The harder you challenge your own views, and beliefs, you can find a deeper truth and form better opinions. Maybe everything Obama and the west does, or says is not right and honorable, and maybe every time an ANC person says something they are not 'wrong'. See things for what they are!

      Hector - 2012-03-21 16:03

      cvh23 U.S.S.A ??? wtf is that ?? WW3 ?? Have you ever been to Iran .. hehe if they had nukes there would be a smoking hole where they used to be

  • mbuso.tholly - 2012-03-21 00:53


      Fidel - 2012-03-21 03:21

      Really, who has been the aggressor for the past 60 years? Who has been invading other countries since the end of WW11. Do you know that the US has been fighting non stop all over the world since the end of WW11? What you wish for and reality are two different things.

      Africa21stcentury - 2012-03-21 04:32

      Fidel, That is one way looking at it, the anti Western way !! The other way to look at it, in a more balanced way, is that they possibly prevented WW111 Iran, has taken over from that terrrorist gaddafi, making terrorism its main export!!!

      John - 2012-03-21 05:46

      Viva Mbuso Tholly !!! are just another romantic hopeless communist

      Xolani Ziqubu - 2012-03-21 06:24

      Where excactly is Iran being a threat to the world? Do states that favor the USA get special treatment on nuclear munitions? Lets all be honest when we look at this. The US is only ever goin to pressure those who do not buy oil from them ( Saudi Arabia). The only state that Iran has issue with is Israel. Now we can argue till the cows come home but the US and israel are currently bigger threats to peace then Iran. And can the US honestly threaten trade sunctions against us? Would we fill the void? They no longer hold sway in the world BRICS does.

      Fred - 2012-03-21 07:00

      Xolani, educate yourself. You're making a fool of yourself with this narrow, uninformed statement. Iran ruled by a terrorist state. It oppresses women, adjusts elections, and threatene to destroy Israel routinely.

      Fred - 2012-03-21 07:01

      Whatever Fidel says, the truth is almost exactly the opposite, so reliable is he.

      Xolani Ziqubu - 2012-03-21 08:14

      @ Fred considering i do not use the news papers as my source of knowladge i i will rather remain uneducated. I m well aware of global politics. Myb try not to judge or pressume greater knowladge then others who u know little about...

      Fred - 2012-03-24 18:45

      Actually, you have an anti-West OCD Patrick. This much is clear. You don't realize that you're a danger to yourself and your loved ones because of this.

  • Hugo - 2012-03-21 06:46

    @Fidel You have no clue what you are talking about. "corrupt neo colonial westerners"please your country is way more corrput than the US. The Issue is also not about oil prices. Also if the US didnt join the war your new government Would never be in place you would be way worse off. I have lived in the US and find to be a much better society than Than south africa is at present. I even found it better than my home country.

  • Hugo - 2012-03-21 06:54

    @ Xolani Ziqubu- If the US want to they could stop alot of business with South Africa. Here an idea MCdonalds, KFC, and anyother American company could be closed down losing the country thousands of jobs. your natural resources(gold and what not) that are being exported could be banned in the US. losing the country even more money and jobs. Third no one in the business would could buy or traded with us stocks or banks. to point short this could really hurt South africa. I also dont think you fully understand what happens if they get a Nuclear weapon. They could use it on SA or anyone.

      Xolani Ziqubu - 2012-03-21 08:09

      Wow it wud b a great loss indeed lossing KFC and Mcdonalds. Here is a question for u. North korea has nuclear capabilities and when have they used it to threaten world peace? Pakistan has it. Look the US only involves itself if there is a strategic advantage for them in it. As for fear that sanctions from them have effect. Well what have they done to Iran so far. It would only work if Europe (our biggest consumer) decided to join them. In which case we would still trade with the rest of the world. The only reason Hillary is not putting pressure on SA is due to the fact dat she has none to put. News24 has the story twisted.

      Jaba - 2012-03-21 11:32

      BS Xolani. Iran has threatened a member state of the UN. The EU is with the US on the Sanctions so are many more countries – even India is addressing the issue. The US creates more jobs in South Africa then the rest of the world combined – your are blind… and dumb

  • thoneshan - 2012-03-21 07:26

    Are we moving into a world where the US decides who SA can and cannot do business with?

  • zaakiro - 2012-03-21 07:29

    Jump, an the World Jumps

      Fred - 2012-03-21 07:46

      Time to let go that pseudo-victim ideology?

      Michael - 2012-03-21 10:30

      Zaakirinho - yes indeed - a ploy cunningly adopted by our current (and probably forever) government - "Big Dog rules" aka "We-have-overwhelming-numbers-so-fugg-all-you-little-guys" policy. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, it's the ANC's turn and there's squat anyone can do about it until of course the biology of corruption runs it's course. Suck it up you minorities.

  • Frans - 2012-03-21 07:40

    An other reason to go ahead with fracking as soon as possible

      Adil Smit - 2012-03-21 16:09

      Great suggestion - then large parts of the country can be given the opportunity to buy bottled water instead. And farmers along the Orange and Vaal rivers will have less water to irrigate their crops as that is the water for fracking will be extracted from. America's issues with an oil-rich Muslim country is theirs, not ours.

  • zaakiro - 2012-03-21 07:42

    Basically the US is bullying other Nations into it's sanction program, like they had previously done with Afghanistan, Iraq & Libya. The US is basically preparing themselves for another war, for another failure to follow the failures of Afghanistan which until today they continue to fight a lost fight, like the failures of Iraq where until today they dropping bombs and still haven't found any weapons of mass destruction. The US will ensure the World Economies become reliant on other OIL rich nations such as Kuwait, Qatar & Saudi Arabia (all US pro Govt.). Once they attack another country, kill hundreds of thousands of innocent children and women, violate every inch of morality, cause the worst physical and emotional damage believable to the economy, to the infrastructure and to the people. Then they will say, "We are ready to rebuild your country", how? They (the US) will sign off mega million dollar deals to American firms thus increasing in their own economy, creating jobs and giving American citizens a reason to believe why the war was a right decision. To close the deal, the American Govt. will have another oil-rich region to continue their greed in hovering the World's natural resources for their own gain. If you think i'm talking a bucket of crap, i think Afghanistan & Iraq are two examples... Besides killing soo many innocent people, what have they really achieved?

      Fred - 2012-03-24 18:47

      You're talking absolute nonsense and making a fool of yourself. Educate yourself man, and think.

  • phathuchicos - 2012-03-21 08:24

    I don't think Iranian oil is that destructive in car's why ban it.

  • Megan - 2012-03-21 08:36

    Unbeliveably sad to see how many people have been completely brainwashed by American led western media. We absolutely refuse to accept hypocrisy in other people but we'll lie down and take when a bullying country demands it. If America seriously wants other countries to not develope nuclear weapons then they themselves should destroy their own - which we all know very well they are not going to do. After completely destroying Iraq in a failed occupation they are still completely unable to find any evidence of "weapons of mass destruction". Instead they invaded a country - for no REAL reason - gaining full control of said countries NATURAL resources. I honestly think it's about time that other countries started putting america in her place. As it is, we live in economic position where MOST people struggle to make ends meet. If Iran were to turn around and offer cheaper oil rates to countries then I seriously hope we take that opportunity - and I'm fairly certain that other countries would do the same. It is NOT America's job to decide how other independant countries run their affairs.

  • africanhope - 2012-03-21 09:02

    Whilst I am against Iran having nukes, this story does upset me for various reasons: 1. The UN should lead this, not the US, who is about as objective as a New Age journalist. 2. The USA should understand that some countries, like ours, are in a different place in our development, and just importing less oil (in the midst of an economic crisis caused, might I add, by the Americans)is not as easy as it sounds. Not all of us can invade oil rich countries to find new sources. 3. All illegal nukes should go. Why is the USA not asking for sanctions against Israel, who has illegal nukes? Why no sanctions against Pakistan, their ally, who has illegal nukes? Why so selective? 4. Added to the above - all nukes should go. Why do we still have them? Name all the countries that have used nukes before. Oh yes, only one, the USA. The world should follow SA's example on this. 5. I agree Iran is under a dangerous regime that should go, but this fear of Iran spread by the Americans are misplaced. How many countries have Iran invaded in the last 5 decades. Now ask how many have the USA invaded. I agree - Iran is under an oppressive regime, and the people of Iran should rise up and rid themselves of it, and SA should, in it's way, play a responsible role in this, but it should happen under the guidance of the UN, NOT the USA

  • bluzulu - 2012-03-21 09:12

    Are these they same people that brought up the "Weapons of mass destruction" fairy tale. Sounds like a Bully in the playgrounds. I hope that RSA does not pander to these Warmongers. Once they are done with the Arabs, who's next? Here in NZ we don't even allow their nuclear powered ships as NZ does not pander to the US.

  • bluzulu - 2012-03-21 09:18

    The US government manipulates the indoctrinated with notions of destruction as they do with the US public. They have their own public living in fear in their own country. Now days when a vehicle backfires the public hits the ground thnking it's a terrorist attack, anyway the blame has to be laid at the feet of the US public cos they allowed their leaders to take this path of anarchy.

  • Marius - 2012-03-21 09:43

    People seem to forget how SA thrived during the sanctions during the apartheid years. Sanctions makes a country self reliant and might just wake up the retards we have in government

  • Bob - 2012-03-21 10:43

    And what about Sasol???? We paid high fuel levies to fund the Sasol project originally, so that we could produce Oil from coal and lessen our need for imported crude . But, instead we are shipping our coal reserves out to China at pathetically low price! Why are we not expanding Sasol and supplementing our oil requirements locally with our own local resources? So we sell off our natural reserves for peanuts and pay and arm and a leg for oil imports!

  • erneyb - 2012-03-21 11:16

    Can someone enlighten me as to why we do not buy oil from Angola or Nigeria instead of Iran, which will also reduce the transportation cost ? Am I naive and mad in my thinking ?

      Hector - 2012-03-21 16:09

      The Angolan and Nigerians are deep in the pockets of EU and USA .. look at all the big oil majors here in Angola .. BP TOTAL CHEVRON..They might as well run the Govt ...

      Fidel - 2012-03-22 07:58

      The whole Angolan economy is reliant on the US dollar which means that the US Treasury is responsible for the money supply of that country and as such the US corporations get preference when it comes to oil concessions in that country.

  • Gcwabe-KaMavovo - 2012-03-21 11:19

    Dropping Iran as an oil supplier might just see the fuel price rocketing. We would have to re-tune our refineries to the specs of crude from other nations, and at a massive cost. We all know that this cost will simply be passed down to us the consumer. USA sies on you.

  • Adil Smit - 2012-03-21 12:01

    Don't see why South Africans must pay more for petrol because the US now has another problem with another oil-rich Muslim country.

  • mogolobaneng - 2012-03-21 14:24

    I am tired of USA always trying to dictate to the world what to eat or what not to eat. SA keep on buying.

      bernpm - 2012-03-21 22:06

      so...ignore US. SA did reasonable well under apartheid sanctions. SA could get all it needed :-))

      Fred - 2012-03-24 18:48

      Grow up and educate yourself. You're being a child.

  • mogolobaneng - 2012-03-22 06:29

    I am tired of USA always trying to dictate to the world what to eat or what not to eat. SA keep on buying.

  • Michael - 2012-03-24 15:31

    I am growing tired of the US dictating who can and who cannot invest in nulclear technology. If Iran want to expand their nuclear capabilites they must surely be allowed to. They say it's for peacful purposes, then give them the benifit. And if, according to US, the technology will be used to manufacture 'THE BOMB' and the Isrealies get a sniff of even the faintest of nefarious activities they will surely become involved to curtail the same. With all the US mischief making, the oil price climbs daily making us all poorer.

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