Tehran has already stopped oil exports to France, Britain, and Greece and is now considering halting crude sales to Italy.

Iran’s decision to cut crude exports to six European countries — including the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Portugal — was made after the EU foreign ministers agreed on January 23 to ban oil imports from Iran and freeze the assets of the country’s Central Bank across the EU.

On February 19, Iran’s Oil Ministry cut oil exports to British and French firms.

Tehran’s decision to impose countersanctions on European countries has led to a hike in global oil prices, pushing gasoline prices in the US and the UK to record highs. The rising gasoline prices have also become a major issue in the US presidential election campaign.

The US and EU accuse Iran of pursuing a military program under the cover of its nuclear energy work despite the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has found no evidence to this end.

Tehran refutes their claims arguing that as a committed member of the IAEA and a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty it is entitled to peaceful uses of the nuclear energy