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Iranian oil imports cut ahead of Clinton visit

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa cut all crude oil imports from Iran in June amid heavy European and U.S. sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program, a monthly government report shows, cutting off another major source of cash for the crude-dependent Middle Eastern nation.

June’s crude oil importation report comes as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton plans a visit to South Africa in a few days, but it remains unclear whether South Africa intends to permanently cut all Iranian imports in response to possible economic sanction.

Zodwa Batyashe, a spokeswoman for the nation’s Energy Ministry, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Monthly statistics from the South African Revenue Service show the nation received the majority of its oil in June from Saudi Arabia, with Angola and Nigeria also contributing heavily.

From May 2011 to May 2012, statistics show that about 35 percent of all crude imported by the country came from Iran. Government officials estimate the value of that crude to be more than $3.4 billion.


Six dead in price protest in Darfur region

NYALA — Six people were killed Tuesday during a demonstration sparked by high transport prices in Sudan’s Darfur region, a state government spokeswoman said.

“According to reports we received, six people were killed,” Bothina Mohmed Ahmed, of the South Darfur government, told AFP.

She had no details of how they died, in the state capital Nyala, and added that a number of people were also injured.

A witness earlier told AFP that police had fired tear gas at the demonstrators scattered in groups around the main market. He said protesters threw stones at government buildings and burned tires in the street.

“The demonstration started because the students rejected the price of transport announced by the government,” Ms. Ahmed said.

She added that “other groups,” whom she did not identify, attacked government property during the protest.

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