TEHRAN, March 6 (UPI) -- The Iranian Oil Ministry said it wants some of its European customers to make contractual commitments or face an oil embargo.
In February, Tehran said it was halting crude oil deliveries to France and Great Britain. Though largely symbolic, the decision was in part blamed for a rise in crude oil prices.
The semiofficial Mehr News Agency in Iran said the Oil Ministry wants European countries such as Belgium, Czech Republic, the Netherlands and five others to commit to at least a three-year deal and timely payments or face an embargo.
Some of those countries have cut back or stopped buying Iranian crude, as was the case with London.
U.S. and European sanctions on Iran's financial sector make it difficult for Tehran to process crude oil payments. In February, the governor of Iran's Central Bank said Tehran would accept gold or foreign currencies as payment for crude oil deliveries.
Tensions with Iran are in part to blame for high oil prices, which translates to higher gasoline prices. Some governments have considered tapping into their strategic petroleum reserves in an effort to find some relief, though the International Energy Agency had said there are no physical market disruptions.