South Africa is Iran’s lead energy buyerFebruary 20, 2012
While the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia have joined together in sanctions against Iran, South Africa has not. In 2010, South Africa bought $22.9 billion in fuel, crude, natural gas, and minerals from Iran. The quantity easily outstrips purchases by China, the country most often singled out for counterbalancing Western sanctions. From a Jan. 26 report from the Congressional Research Service using data from the World Trade Atlas:
The report has been followed by a Feb. 8 Associated Press article about South Africa’s involvement with Iran:
South Africa’s close ties to Iran under scrutiny
JOHANNESBURG — The West’s increasing pressure on Iran has meant scrutiny for South African businesses that operate in the Middle Eastern nation accused of having nuclear ambitions.
South African-Iranian political ties have long been close, and that has meant close business ties. A politically connected South African telecommunications company has been accused of pushing Pretoria to support Iran’s nuclear power program. A South African energy and chemicals company is reviewing its Iranian investments. Iranian oil makes up nearly a third of South Africa’s oil imports…
The only good thing about the data is that Germany has slipped in the rankings of Iran’s biggest customers.