Iran has reached agreements with European refiners to sell some of its oil through a private consortium, an official said on Saturday, a move designed to circumvent sanctions intended to put pressure on Tehran to halt its disputed nuclear program.

The head of the oil products exporters’ union said the agreement between the exporters’ union, Iran’s central bank, and the oil ministry would get round a European Union ban on shipping insurance for tankers carrying Iranian oil, though he gave few details and did not name the refiners involved.

The EU put into effect a ban on the importation, purchase, or shipping of Iranian oil on July 1, and the Islamic Republic will see its oil exports fall by more than 50 percent this month from last year’s regular levels, costing it billions of dollars a month in revenue.

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