Kenya’s energy ministry signed a deal with the Iranian National Oil Company last month, outlining plans to bring some 4 m tons of oil into the African nation. However, the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, made its intentions to cut Iran’s revenue flow clear. In response to Iran’s continued nuclear program, the US.. and the European Union have both imposed strict sanctions on Iran. Kenya was pressured to follow suit.
“Because of international pressure, we have withdrawn that understanding,” Patrick Nyoik, the permanent secretary for Kenya’s energy ministry, was quoted as saying by the AFP new agency.
Over the weekend, the European Union implemented a complete embargo on Iranian oil, coinciding with new U.S. legislation that sanctions any party that deals with Iran’s central bank.
“There are sanctions that are in place for people that are buying oil and products from Iran – there would be repercussions,” U.S. ambassador to Kenya Scott Gration warned on Wednesday, referring directly to Kenya’s oil importation plans.
Just last month, Kenya’s only oil refinery had said it would start buying its own crude oil.