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Tuesday, 30 April, 2002, 14:51 GMT 15:51 UK
Iran renews call for oil embargo
Iranian MPs march in protest against continued Israeli military action
Anti-Israeli feelings have been running high in Iran
The Iranian oil minister has renewed his country's call for Islamic states to impose an oil embargo on Israel and its allies in support of the Palestinians.

The state news agency quoted Bijan Zanganeh as saying that "an embargo against Israel and its allies can be effective in stopping the continuation of the Zionist regime's criminal operations against the oppressed Palestinian nation".

Iranian oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh
Mr Zanganeh called for support in "word and deed"
Mr Zanganeh said the embargo would only be effective if other countries enforced it simultaneously, the Islamic Republic News Agency (Irna) reported.

Iran, which does not recognise Israel, is the second largest Opec oil exporter after Saudi Arabia.

He "emphasised the need for coordination from all freedom-loving and independent countries," Irna said.

The agency said Zanganeh was calling on "Opec and non-Opec oil-producing countries to support the sanctions call in word and deed and as a humanitarian gesture".

Embargo proposals

The idea of an Iranian embargo was first raised in early April by Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Ten days later, the Iranian President, Mohammad Khatami, called on Islamic states to impose a comprehensive one-month oil boycott on Israel's main supporters.

He outlined a proposal for the embargo in letters to the emir of Qatar, who currently chairs the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), and to the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait had already turned down a call from Iraq's Saddam Hussein for an Arab oil boycott against Israel's supporters.

Iraq has imposed a unilateral embargo. It halted oil exports on 8 April for one month.

See also:

15 Apr 02 | Middle East
Iran presses for oil embargo
15 Apr 02 | Middle East
Powell widens Mid-East peace mission
05 Apr 02 | Business
Iran wields oil embargo threat
05 Apr 02 | Business
Analysis: Another oil embargo?
08 Apr 02 | Middle East
Iraq cuts off oil exports
08 Mar 02 | Business
Opec: The oil cartel
31 Aug 00 | Business
Oil markets explained
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