Jan. 21 (Bloomberg) -- The European Union may ban Iranian oil imports within a few months, while ensuring the embargo doesn’t hurt the region’s economy and international security, Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders told De Standaard.
The phase-in period for the embargo should be as short as possible, Reynders told the newspaper in an interview published today. The EU can implement it in such a way so that oil supplies are not compromised and prices remain under control, he said, according to De Standaard.
Foreign ministers from the 27-nation EU are due to discuss sanctions on Iran and decide about the timing of the potential ban at their Jan. 23 gathering in Brussels. Any decision to impose an embargo would have to be unanimous.
The embargo would include a temporary exemption for existing contracts to enable countries such as Greece, Italy and Spain to find alternative supplies, with most countries backing a Danish proposal of moving to a full embargo from July 1, EU diplomats said earlier this week.
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