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Has Israel been buying Iranian oil?

Guardian blogger Richard Silverstein has posted a translated excerpt from the Swiss newspaper Sonntag that explores Israel’s apparent oil purchases from Iran: Israel imports Iranian oil on a large scale even though contacts with Iran and purchasing of its products are officially boycotted by Israel. Israel gets around the boycott by having the oil delivered ...

Guardian blogger Richard Silverstein has posted a translated excerpt from the Swiss newspaper Sonntag that explores Israel’s apparent oil purchases from Iran:

Israel imports Iranian oil on a large scale even though contacts with Iran and purchasing of its products are officially boycotted by Israel. Israel gets around the boycott by having the oil delivered via Europe. A reliable Israeli energy newsletter, EnergiaNews, reported this last week [March 18] …

EnergiaNews got the information about the Iran trade from sources with ties to the management of Israeli Oil Refineries Ltd … According to EnergiaNews the Iranian oil is liked in Israel because its quality is better than other crude oils.

The report by EnergiaNews editor Moshe Shalev states that the Iranian oil reaches various European ports, mainly in Rotterdam. It is bought by Israelis and the necessary European bill of lading and insurance papers are supplied. Then it is transported to Haifa in Israel. The importer is the Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Co (EAPC), which keeps its oil sources secret.

Silverstein also links to a Haaretz article from last October which reports that Israel planned to import oil from Iran to sell to the Palestinian Authority. It seems that despite its stated boycott of Iranian products, Israel doesn’t actually formally define Iran as an "enemy nation" so this deal isn’t technically illegal. Still, it’s a bit hard to reconcile with the apocalyptic rhetoric of some Israeli politicians. I’m also curious to see how Iran’s leaders justify trade with the "Zionist entity."

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