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EU Drafts Iran Oil Blacklist, Seeks Swift Services Ban

March 14 (Bloomberg) -- The European Union is seeking to ban imports of products including petroleum oils and natural gas from Iran and to bar global bank-transfer messaging companies from providing services to entities subject to EU sanctions.

The EU regulatory arm and the bloc’s foreign affairs service proposed that as well as more common fuels such as gasoline and diesel, the list of banned products include oils obtained from bituminous materials other than crude, liquefied petroleum gas as well as bitumen and asphalt, according to a draft regulation obtained by Bloomberg. The document details what is included in the EU’s oil embargo on Iran, which enters into full force on July 1 when a grace period on existing contracts ends.

The EU is also seeking to prohibit the supply of “financial communication services” to individuals and businesses whose assets and resources the bloc decided to freeze, according to the draft measure, which is being considered by EU national governments.

That clarifies that Swift will have to impose sanctions against Iranian financial institutions. The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication said last month it is prepared to discontinue services once the EU presents implementing rules on restrictions adopted by the bloc’s 27 nations on Jan. 23.

The EU draft regulation offers some exemptions from the asset freeze, including the possibility of releasing certain funds for diplomatic missions or making available of certain funds to the Central Bank of Iran for the execution of existing contracts, which are allowed to continue until July 1.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ewa Krukowska in Brussels at ekrukowska@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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