Sanctions against Iran intensify
Catholic Online / Greg Goodsell

Shell Oil joins embargo

Royal Dutch Shell has announced that it is no longer selling oil to Iran. The Netherlands-based oil giant is joining other nations in a bid to deter Iran's nuclear ambitions.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) – Other firms that have stopped fuel sales to Tehran include Switzerland's Glencore and Geneva-based Vitol. Officials say oil companies are moving away from Iran for political reasons.

While Iran remains one of the world's largest oil exporters, it still relies on imports for about 40 percent of its refined product. This dependence stems from decades of sanctions that have greatly limited Iran's refining capacity. Iran spends billions of dollars on oil imports and energy subsidies for citizens annually.

Recent moves by Iran that have been deemed aggressive have been the announcement of the development of its first cruise missile, the NASR-1 last week. Iran has since produced massive amounts of missiles, jet fighters and torpedoes since embarking on a military self-sufficiency program in 1992.

U.S. lawmakers are working on legislation that backs unilateral sanctions on companies that make fuel deals with Iran. Previous sanctions against Iran, not limited to oil exports was targeting the nations' top five banks. Two previous sanctions, passed in March 2007 and March 2008 blacklisted Iran's Bank Sepah and urged countries to "exercise vigilance" over the activities of all Iranian financial institutions.

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