Europe and the United States are using the ban to intensify pressure on Iran to scale back its nuclear programme, which they say is geared to developing weapons. Iran says its nuclear works are for electricity production and other peaceful purposes only.
The government had pushed for a delay in the implementation of the EU ban – originally drafted in January – because the country relies heavily on Iranian crude oil to meet its energy needs.
At a meeting in Luxembourg, EU foreign ministers said, however, that the embargo would go ahead as planned, although they pledged to review its implementation in the future to ensure European governments have sufficient access to crude.
The government has lobbied to allow purchases under previously signed deals after July 1, or to provide credit guarantees that would help it to buy crude elsewhere. These requests have been rejected, diplomats said.