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South Korea to halt Iran oil imports as EU ban bites

South Korea became the first major Asian consumer to announce a halt to Iran South Korea became the first major Asian consumer of Iranian crude to announce a halt to imports after the government said they would be suspended from July 1 due to a European Union ban on insuring tankers carrying Iranian oil.The insurance ban makes it almost impossible to ship Iranian oil as most insurance is undertaken by EU-based companies and the move comes as part of a series of measures designed to put pressure on Iran to halt what the United States and others say is a nuclear weapons program.South Korea depends on the United States for security, but it has no natural resources and has been scrambling for alternative crude supplies to replace those from a country that supplied 9.4 percent of its needs in 2011.The world's fourth largest buyer of Iranian crude said it has no plan to provide state guarantee like Japan to continue its imports. Another two major Asian buyers, China and India, will allow Iran to deliver the crude from July."South Korea's imports of Iranian oil will be suspended, as the EU will suspend crude imports from Iran and also halt its ...

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