The EU's member states have reached a preliminary agreement on an oil embargo against Iran. the aim is to tighten pressure on the country as it is suspected that Tehran is going forward with its nuclear programme, according to an EU official. Greece, Spain and Italy had been refraining from such measures fearing their already weakened economies would suffer from an oil embargo. Athens was especially opposed to the embargo as 50% of Greece's oil imports originate from Iran. But they have finally agreed on the principle of said sanctions. The member states are still discussing details and timing, the EU source told Europolitics.

Exemptions to ease the embargo's impact on certain countries were under discussion on 5 January, and talks are expected to continue until a formal deal is reached, probably a week before the 30 January Foreign Affairs Council, the diplomat said. Indeed, Italy, which has paid Iran in advance for its oil imports, has...

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