The US has cautioned against trading with Iran, stating countries that do so could face serious consequences.
US ambassador to Kenya Scott Gration explained that countries that get into business with Iran could as well be slapped with sanctions.
“There are sanctions and repercussions for people who are buying oil from Iran,” he stated.
His remarks came just as the Government announced it was cancelling an agreement to import four million tonnes of Iranian crude oil per year because of international sanctions against Iran.
Energy PS, Patrick Nyoike, said they were cancelling the agreement because there was an embargo on Iranian oil.
He, however, noted that they had signed an MoU with Iran, adding that they do not want the Government to get involved in the intricacies of international inter-governmental issues.
While speaking to the Press, Gration said the US was watching to see how the country will handle the matter. “We have to see how it develops,” said the outgoing ambassador.
He maintained that there are consequences of associating with Iran, but said he did not have the specifics of the Kenyan case.
Gration made the remarks at his Nairobi residence during celebrations to mark America’s Independence Day. Those who attended included Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Cabinet Minister Sally Kosgei, legislator Adan Keynan and Ida Odinga, the wife of Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
But Iranian ambassador to Kenya Malek Hossein Givzard said the information was fabrication of the truth to isolate the country. He squarely blamed the US and Israel, saying there was a wider conspiracy to taint Iran.
“This is just a wider plot against our nation intended to break bilateral relations with our friends,” stated Mr Hossein at a press conference yesterday evening. “How can someone plant 30 bombs? This is unbelievable,” he added, in reference to to reports that two Iranians arrested over terror had confessed to police they planned a series of attacks on Israel, US, British and Saudi interests in Kenya (See separate story).
Mr Hossein noted that Iran had suffered terror attacks in the past and it could be impossible for the country to tolerate such activities.
Britain on its part asked Kenya not to increase its imports of Iranian oil at a time when the international community is increasing pressure on the country to demonstrate its nuclear programme. Britain noted the European Union recently implemented an embargo on Iranian oil.
Kenya had indicated on Monday that it had agreed to import four million tonnes of Iranian oil yearly, which translates to about 80,000 barrels daily.
By ALLAN KISIA, The Standard