IEA says Iran’s oil exports rise above sanctions limit

IEA says Iran’s oil exports rise above sanctions limitThe International Energy Agency has said in its monthly report that the total export of oil from Iran has risento their highest in 20 months, which is higher than 1 million barrel-per-day limit set by western powers as sanctions on the Islamic republic.

Iran is suspected of covertly developing nuclear weapons, a charge it denies and maintains that it has the right to harness civilian nuclear energy for generating power. Top Iranian importers, China, Japan and South Korea are considering alternative Middle East suppliers while the United States has increased the pressure on all countries to reduce imports from Iran.

The IEA has said that crude oil imports from Iran rose by 240,000 bpd to 1.65 million barrels per day, which is its highest level since June, 2012. Under a deal with Iran and six world powers, Iran's exports are supposed to be held to an average 1 million bpd through July 20. China imported 168,000 bpd of the rise in imports in February, India for 93,000 bpd and South Korea for 83,000 bpd.

The governments in Europe and the US are urging Asian countries to reduce oil imports from Iran so as to make their sanctions more effective in order to force Tehran to come clean on its nuclear programme.

"Imports of Iranian oil are running well above 2013 levels for the third consecutive month," the report said.