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Iran in Talks to Sell Oil to Egypt

Source: Ahram Online 9/10/2012, Location: Africa

Iran is in talks to sell crude oil to Egypt, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi was quoted as saying by the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA). Iran has been looking for new buyers for its oil as western sanctions over its disputed nuclear programme squeeze sales to long-time customers.

Iranian officials have said on several occasions over the last few months they are in talks to sell oil to new customers, but rarely name them and there is little evidence of significant volumes of oil being shipped to new customers.

A spokesman for Egypt's oil ministry had no immediate comment on Qasemi's reported remarks but referred questions about Iran's policy back to Tehran.

Diplomatic relations between Tehran and Cairo broke down after Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution over Egypt's support for the overthrown Shah and its peace agreement with Iran's arch-enemy Israel.

Since the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, there have been signs of warming relations, including Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi last month making the first visit to Tehran by an Egyptian leader in more than 30 years.

Egyptian Petroleum Minister Osama Kamal told state owned Al-Ahram newspaper earlier this month that Cairo had "no objection" to importing Iranian crude and processing it in Egyptian refineries.

The European Union imposed a total ban on purchases of Iranian crude from July, making it difficult for Tehran to sell all its oil, the lifeblood of its economy.

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