The French Foreign Ministry announced, Thursday, that the French government would not import any more Iranian oil and called on other countries to follow suit. At the same time, the ministry made it clear that the step was being taken by the government, which was not stopping private companies from importing oil from Iran, the fifth largest producer of crude oil in the world. The sanctions are in response to Iran's nuclear development program.
France started importing oil from Iran last year, after it was forced to give up the supply of oil from Libya because of the North African nation's revolution against dictator Muammar Qaddafi. During the first half of the year, France imported 55,000 barrels a day from Iran.