Iran backs

Iran, the biggest producer in OPEC after Saudi Arabia.

The new U.S. sanctions go into effect for non-petroleum transactions with the Iranian central bank on Feb. 29 and for oil-related transactions on June 28.

The European Union has imposed its own embargo on oil imports from Iran, to start from July 1. In response, Iran ordered a halt of oil sales to Britain and France on Sunday in a move symbolic of Tehran’s anger with the West.

Turkey buys about 40 percent of its crude from Iran.

The International Energy Agency said that up to 1 million bpd of Iran’s 2.6 million bpd of exports could be replaced by alternative supplies once EU sanctions begin.

Iran’s oil output has fallen over the last two years by more than 250,000 bpd, or 6.6 percent, and could lose more than 300,000 bpd this year and a further 200,000 bpd in 2013, Vienna-based consultants JBC Energy estimate.

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