SA pressured to cease Iran oil imports

SA pressured to cease Iran oil imports

2012-05-13 11:32

As from July 1, South Africa will be in breach of US law and will face financial sanctions because of its continued oil imports from Iran.

As things currently stand, the government can do very little, or nothing about it.

If South Africa continues to pay for the oil it receives from Iran (more than 26% of its supply of foreign crude), it will be paying, as it does currently, the money into the Central Bank of Iran, which the US law deems a terrorist agency.

In terms of a new American law, all oil transactions with Iran that pass through the US financial system will be blocked, including those by South Africa and at least 12 other nations, including India and China.

The US government is insisting that all nations, even some of its main allies who share the International Atomic Energy Agency belief that Iran is producing nuclear weapons, “significantly reduce” their oil imports from Iran and in so doing cut off that nation’s main source of revenue.

Japan and 10 European Union nations have done so and have qualified for exemptions of 180 days after July 1.

South Africa, as far as can be determined, has not done so, nor has it indicated its intention to do so – neither can it “significantly reduce” its imports from Iran because of a lack of adequate access to alternative sources.

Much of South Africa’s refinery industry, Engen in particular, is geared to refining Iranian oil because of its unique chemical composition. The entire refinery will have to be re-engineered if it was to switch suppliers.

Engen declined to comment.

Avhapfani Tshifularo, executive director at the South African Petroleum Industry Association, said: “This is not a business decision for us. It involves a political decision about political pressure.”

He added: “We expect a Cabinet decision by the end of the month, and we will allow ourselves to be guided by that.”

Tshifularo said that it was “simply not possible to just switch suppliers. It will take a lot of time and money.”

The department of energy confirmed that Cabinet will deal with this issue at the end of this month, with four weeks before the deadline. Of South Africa’s major oil companies, only Sasol [JSE:SOL] has stopped its oil imports from Iran.

Said Sasol spokesperson Jacqui O’Sullivan: “Until recently, Sasol Oil has procured a relatively small volume of Iranian crude oil, around 12 000 barrels per day. This volume represents roughly 20% of Sasol’s crude requirement for processing at its Natref refinery.”

- City Press


  • Pietertjie - 2012-05-13 12:04

    hope they nail us and our BEE Government big-time.

      DrCyanide - 2012-05-13 12:11

      It would be nice yes, unfortunatly you and I and the rest of the country are going to foot the bill for these sanctions... cuz governement cares only about one thing... them selves... we're just another source of income.

      koos.vandermerwe.92 - 2012-05-13 12:21

      To many connected ancESTORS will loose their corruption funds if they drop iran.

      Ted - 2012-05-13 12:24

      Without really using worse words, you are not wise.

      Girlie - 2012-05-13 12:53

      And what do we stand to gain if they nail us? Are yu one of those guys who enjoys negativity as if there is a reward for it?

  • Makhumuzi Mthethwa - 2012-05-13 12:07

    so independence is but a myth....

      mastersvoice - 2012-05-13 12:26

      Not really - the USA can choose who they'd like to deal with, as can we. We have to choose between sanctions from the US and importing oil from Iran.

  • Forest Gump - 2012-05-13 12:10

    Who will the most hit? The south african consumer. Who will have to pay more for petrol due to scarcity of oil which inevitabilly will push up the price of all food products an services

  • Sean - 2012-05-13 12:13

    South Africa is not the only country that has been told to stop or reduce their import of Iranian oil by America's weird June 28 dealine.India,China,South Korea,Turkey and many more other countries have been told the same thing. Is ridiculous by America wanting to sanction nearly half of the world simply because of what it deem inappropriate to deal with Iran for business purposes. This beef between America and Iran is political so why should business be affected? Furthermore why don't America supplement cheap Iranian oil to counties it wants to sanction instead of behaving like a total idiot? The Washington Post wrote:"Sanctions on Iranian oil are bound to fail,says Ivan Eland from the Independent Institute,because rapidly growing countries in the developing world, such as China and India, care less about Iran’s nuclear program than about getting cheap oil."

      ianon.ym - 2012-05-13 12:20

      The day will come when America will get such a big Klap that it will keep it's snotty nose out of other peoples business forever.

  • joemols - 2012-05-13 12:20

    Mxm,US,US,US,cant we live without them?

  • Kolobe - 2012-05-13 12:25

    let the sanction us..about time we took that test

  • Ted - 2012-05-13 12:30

    So much about our impartiality, neutrality, moral virginity and all. So if America and its sancho pansa (Israel) decide to go to war with Iran; we may be forced to join or else? We setting a dangerous precedent with this. It smells like we are now a US state for sure.

  • Dustin McCrindle - 2012-05-13 12:37


      Sean - 2012-05-13 13:11

      Thank you Obama for what? America is bankrupt and still it wants to scream with a loud voice so everybody does what it says or else. Its fiscal debts(liabilities mostly)are 14 times it GDP which amounts to $14.59 trillion(GDP)times 14 which amounts $204.24trillion. Greece,the worst debt ridden country in the EU,fiscal debts are only 11 times its GDP by comparison. On top of that America still has a $9trillion in official debt. Uncle Sam has been fighting ****ing wars in the last how many years with almost everone and haven't learned to shut the **** up and leave other nations alone. Even if Iran manage to build a A-Bomb,its not that easy to launch an attack that will succeed in killing everybody.Firing a nuclear bomb and for it to be successful from outer space outside our atmosphere and then to re-enter the atmosphereis is not that simple. These "shields" or rockets America plans to build in Romania and the Czech Republic is enough to shoot down any nuclear missiles Iran plans to build and use. Why its trying to make life difficult for other nations that have no beef with Iran or its nuclear program is pathetic by America to say the least. - 2012-05-13 13:53

      Can't u see.Dustin is being sarcastic!

  • clifford.julies - 2012-05-13 12:47

    I agree with some of the comment let then sanction us. Is about time we test our strengh. A US is a bully

  • Bear - 2012-05-13 12:49

    Being sanctioned by America is a good thing, the other Brics nations will support us.

  • Kobus - 2012-05-13 12:54

    USA,are you going to supply us then on the same terms??

  • Tony - 2012-05-13 12:55

    Is the USA going to supply our oil needs at the same price as we are currently getting it from Iran? I think not. About time the US get knotted, and the entire planet give them the middle finger salute too. I can see China just shaking in their boots. Not.

  • lordvukile - 2012-05-13 12:55

    Either way, we are SCREWED!!!!

  • Bear - 2012-05-13 12:55

    If America places sanctions on South Africa, India and China they will be hurt the most. Yes the South African consumer will struggle for a bit but we'll just have to wait it out. No I don't support Iran, I support Brics. :D

      Bear - 2012-05-13 13:00

      Luckily if a war breaks out we wont have to part of it since we don't have a military lol

  • Fhedzani Sadiki - 2012-05-13 13:03

    Too much power...

  • Douglas Theron - 2012-05-13 13:04

    So once again we gonna bow down to a powerful country, lets see if our "friends" in BRICS are there for us now.. One day we bow down to china the next day its US cant we just take a stand somewhere and stop sleeping around. The US is so hippocritical because its fine if their little israeli buddies have nuclear weapons. Now they force us to follow their narrow minded path.. Pathetic

  • veritas.odium.paret - 2012-05-13 13:12

    We'll be happy to Uncle Sam. Just give us the money needed to make the necessary changes and help us out on any extra amount we'll be paying to import from elsewhere...

  • Andile - 2012-05-13 13:20

    This past week it was reported that the BRICS nations were going to hold talks of them opening their own Central Bank. Could this be a reaction to what the US is about to do. Either way the US because of its Dollar is really trying to have more grip in the control of the world. Being a developing nation perhaps they should finance the whole process of changing suppliers rather than just imposing sanctions on us. And this 180 days grace period to the other countries is really suspect

      fitzpatrick.taurai - 2012-05-13 13:58

      The bigger picture in this Andile is that the globalists (aka banking cartels) are using the US muscle to further their agenda of a New World Order, a dictatorial one world gvt to enslave literally everyone. And it is evident in them doing what they are doing now; imposing uncalled for sanctions on Iran, this is obvious a provocative method to get Iran to do smething and they can invade them hence taking over the majir oil supplies in the world

      Vuyo - 2012-05-13 14:47

      we are seeing the last kicks of a dying horse . All empires have to come to an end .

  • Shaun McDermott - 2012-05-13 13:28

    since when does US law govern soverign countries

  • Frans - 2012-05-13 13:42


  • pkheswa - 2012-05-13 13:44

    The US is just bullying smaller nations to help fight its battles

  • nkululeko.j.duma - 2012-05-13 13:57

    oh wel USA..Putting sanctions against countries like china,russia,india,south africa and brazil is like sanctions against urself. ok! now it is time we try to stop US dollar as world trade currency.

  • Joseph - 2012-05-13 13:57

    Maybe its time the US sticks their nose up their own business

  • sizwe.nyembe - 2012-05-13 14:29

    American law! WTF!? We are a sovereign state. We need no country to tell us who we should trade with. For once, the ANC should defy these arrogant imperialists.

  • Vuyo - 2012-05-13 14:45

    Why is the world not applying sanctions against america for supporting terrorism around the world . It's time for africa to find new friends , like china .

  • Imtiaz - 2012-05-13 15:17

    US is the same country that said Iraq has WMD according to their intelligents so why we must believe them when they say Iran is manufacturing nuclear weapons.....

      rudiwaan.joseph - 2012-05-13 20:06

      Imtiaz, Iran has admitted that they have a nuclear enrichment program and said that it is friendly. I dont understand why the US want to interfere with a sovereign state and its technology or weaponry if it has the very same technology which they blatantly claim to be of the most advanced nuclear weaponry!\r\nSurely whats goes for the goose MUST go for the gander! Or are they after the irianian oil next!

      Imtiaz - 2012-05-13 21:00

      @rudiwaan,you are right they just want to put their puppet to be president of Iran and take the oil

      Imtiaz - 2012-05-14 06:07

      @micheal USA is the most undemocratic country in the world, it is a police state see how it treats its people (occupy wall street),it censors it news broadcast to brain wash their citizen. I got news for u its not working anymore.

  • Quint - 2012-05-13 15:58

    So, South Africa is going to be another gutless lackey of the US? India has rejected US pressure and is continuing to import oil from Iran. Why does South Africa have to pay any attention to the warmongering lies of the US/

  • hussain.adam - 2012-05-13 17:28

    The US trade balance (exports-imports) with the BRICS nations is US$ -326929.1 M (negative three hundred and twenty six trillion). That means they buy more stuff from BRICS than BRICS buys from USA. If the US imposes absolute santions on BRICS, they will be imposing sanctions on 23% of thier supply. This is not taking into a/c sanctions on other countries. In other words the US will shoot itself in the foot.

      lordvukile - 2012-05-14 02:58

      but if they do put sanctions on us, they are likely to find countries willing to supply them with goods than we are to find alternative nations to export to!!! They will also be hurt, but we will be hit more!!!

  • tebogosuemeyong - 2012-05-14 08:06

    The US owes china about $2 trillion surely they dont expect them to cut dealings with iran cos one way or another its gon go back to bite the US on the Bum. as for SA i think this is the time our governement stood up for the nation and our independence we can not be bullied like this, what happened to everyone fighting their own battles

  • Simon - 2012-05-14 09:47

    "The entire refinery will have to be re-engineered if it was to switch suppliers" Why do Japan and the 10 european countries not having problems with this? or is it just a stupid excuse from people not knowing what they are doing??

  • Mike - 2012-05-14 09:49

    There's no shortage of profit in the oil sector of SA - ironic, that US (Chevron-Texaco) and Euro owned refineries (Shell, BP) remain mum on their Iranian imports while SA owned SASOL has lead the way in changing its suppliers away from Iran. Engen, who bleat the loudest, are actually 80% owned by Petronas (Malaysia). While sharing readers misgivings about US lead sanctions, there is no shortage of profit in our oil sector which is long overdue for a shake out - there are many viable and credible business partners aside from long standing pariahs such as Iran, and the multinationals playing in our back yard could do well to consider alternative suppliers in Africa, Asia and the rest of the world. It is quite possible to be a profitable capitalist and not re-inforce oppressive regimes; pragmatism requires both of our political and business leaders. What gives one pause for tought, however, are the regimes our Government chooses to support - such as Gadaffi, right up to the bitter end.

  • Nolan - 2012-05-18 05:40

    SA needs to realise that in global terms, its not really as important as it thinks it is from within. It cannot dictate terms to the world. If SA wants to continue to be a responsible partner of the world, it needs to take an equal stand against rogue regimes. I thought that the government of today would understand that. And... if it still wants to import oil from a state that is moving to be able to threaten the very existence of the world, then it needs to find another currency to pay in. When Iranian nukes strike Washington, the nuclear fallout will not bypass South Africa just because it is a supporter of Iran.

  • Gavin - 2012-05-18 15:14

    America has been a destabilizing influence in the world since the 2nd World War - destabilizing here, supporting there, assassinating here, undermining there - all in the interests of the USA. As PW Botha so rightly said the USA does not have friends, they only have interests. I can quite understand that many countries hate the USA with a passion but do not always condone their methods of expressing it. The sad thing is that it is the politicians who are to blame - they are never the ones that get sent overseas to fight and die. Why should we believe that Iran wants nuclear weapons - we heard about WMD from the USA about Iraq which was found out to be false. Maybe they want to develope peaceful use of the technology? No, American interests (oil) are what it's all about. Who are these bully-boys to tell us where we can and where we can't trade. In any event our main trading partners are not the USA by a long shot so in my opinion, the USA must take a long walk on a short plank.

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