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South Korea increases Iran crude oil imports

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South Korea imports of Iranian crude oil have increased 2.9 percent in November compared to a month ago despite West’s unilateral embargoes against Iran’s oil and financial sectors.

According to the data released by Korea Customs Service, Seoul purchased 814,797 metric tons, equivalent to 5.97 million barrels, of oil from Iran in November which indicated a 2.9-percent rise from October, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

South Korea halted crude purchases from Iran in August and September after its refiners lost insurance coverage on ships because of the sanctions imposed on Iran. However, Iran responded by using state-owned tankers to carry cargoes, a move that would allow South Korea to receive crude shipments without concerns over insurance guarantees.

According to reports, South Korea purchased 9.4 percent, or about 87 million barrels, of all its oil imports from Iran last year.

At the beginning of 2012, the US and the European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.

The illegal US-engineered sanctions were imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.

Iran strongly rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of International Atomic Energy Agency, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

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