Iran has halted oil exports to Germany, according to Iranian television, in an apparent effort to strengthen its position ahead of a fresh round of nuclear talks with Western powers in Istanbul on Saturday. It stopped crude exports to Spain and Greece on Tuesday to preempt the EU's embargo on oil imports, which come into force in July.
Iran halted oil exports to Germany on Wednesday, a day after it stopped crude exports to Spain and Greece, according to Iran's official Press TV news network. The move appears to be an attempt to boost its position ahead of talks with world powers on its nuclear program in Istanbul on Saturday.
The station said the halt of exports was preemptive retaliation for an EU embargo on Iranian oil imports that is due to take effect in July. Iran has already stopped sales to Britain and France.
The West suspects Iran of trying to build a nuclear bomb and this year tightened its sanctions in the long-running dispute. In an indication that Tehran's "counter-sanctions" are having little impact, Spain's biggest refiner said it had already replaced Iranian crude with Saudi Arabian oil months ago.
Iran said it would halt crude oil deliveries after the EU announced its embargo in January, part of a range of tough new sanctions aimed at forcing Tehran to curb the nuclear work that the West suspects is part of a nuclear weapons program.