The implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in January 2016 meant the suspension of the EU embargo on Iranian oil imports (MEES, 29 January 2016). Iran didn’t hang around in bidding to reclaim buyers, with the EU importing an average of 290,700 b/d last year. While important, this is still dwarfed by the 1.6mn b/d bought by Iran’s four key Asian buyers: China, India, South Korea and Japan.

Crude exports to the EU were worth $4.57bn in 2016 according to figures from the European Commission. Of this, $812mn (17% of the total) came in December thanks to a confluence of high export volumes and rising prices. By comparison, EU imports of Iranian crude in 2011 were valued at $23.5bn. Iran’s EU successes last year made it the 9th largest supplier of crude to the bloc, but it remains well down on pre-sanctions levels. The EU lifted 598,000 b/d from Iran in 2011. (CONTINUED - 871 WORDS)