South Korea halted import of Iranian oil
South Korea became the first major Asian consumer of Iranian crude to announce a halt to imports after the government said they would be suspended from July 1 due to a European Union ban on insuring tankers carrying Iranian oil, the Chicago Tribune said.
A meeting of EU ministers ended Monday with no indication that South Korea would be exempted from the sanctions as it requested, the ministry said.
From the start of next month European firms will be banned from insuring or reinsuring tankers transporting Iranian oil anywhere in the world. South Korea relies entirely on European companies for such insurance, the AFP reported.
South Korea generally relies on Iran for about 10% of its crude oil requirements. That fell to 7.5% in the January-May period of this year as Seoul reduced imports in order to gain an exemption from U.S. sanctions against Iran aimed at choking Tehran's oil export revenue, the Wall Street Journal says.