MOSCOW, September 9 (RIA Novosti) – The South African government expects to resume oil imports from Iran and hopes “sanction issues” blocking purchases will be lifted within three months, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
The statement was made by deputy South African foreign minister Nomaindiya Mfeketo after talks with her Iranian counterpart in Pretoria.
South Africa suspended the purchase of oil from Iran in June 2012, under pressure from Western countries. Before the ban, South Africa purchased some 68 million barrels of Iranian oil per day, nearly 25 percent of the country's crude oil needs.
The United States and other countries have imposed sanctions against Iran in response to the country’s continued illicit nuclear activities including its advances in uranium enrichment technology, violations of its nuclear nonproliferation treaty obligations, and defiance of previous sanctions programs.
A preliminary agreement was made in November 2013 between Tehran and the P5+1, a group of six world powers including Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China and Germany. The agreement entails a short-term freeze of portions of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for decreased economic sanctions on Iran, as the countries work towards a long-term agreement. Although the parties planned to reach a comprehensive deal by July 20, the date was postponed for an additional four months.