Iran Signs Oil Deal with Afghanistan
The United Nations Security Council may have imposed economic sanctions on Iran, but Tehran has managed to sign a new oil deal anyway -- with Afghanistan.
The deal, which closed Monday, will provide one million tons of gasoil, gasoline and jet fuel to Afghanistan from Iran, beginning in 2012, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.
"Iran has exported gasoil to Afghanistan over the past years, but the export of gasoline and jet fuel will begin next year," Ali Reza Zeighami, managing director of the National Iranian Refining and Oil Products Distribution Company, told IRNA.
According to the Reuters news agency, trade sources confirmed the Islamic Republic did indeed begin exporting gasoil sometime last year, although its destination remained secret.
The U.S. Senate earlier this month unanimously approved a sanctions bill prohibiting any U.S. financial entity from doing business with the Central Bank of Iran.
The Obama Administration had opposed the measure on the grounds that it could cause a spike in oil prices and produce friction with allies over the issue.
Just a few days earlier, Iran had threatened the West that blockading Iranian crude would result in sky-high prices at the pump. Both Russia and China are heavily invested in Iran's nuclear development and its energy sector -- two major reasons why both have consistently fought proposed sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic at the U.N. Security Council.