Iran has launched new talks with Sri Lanka to resume oil exports. Iran’s Deputy Oil Minister Roknoding Javadi revealed the latest status of resumption of Iranian crude exports to Sri Lanka in time with the cancellation of international sanctions and announced the beginning of Iran’s oil negotiations with Sri Lanka, Mehr News Agency reported.

Managing director of the State-owned National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has said that Iran is preparing to start oil sales to the Asian country after sanction reliefs. Oil and financial sanctions on Iran are expected to be lifted within the first three months of 2016 once the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency assessed that Iran has fulfilled the terms of deal agreed in July this year to restrict Iran’s nuclear work.

The deputy minister has stressed that the resumption of Iran’s oil exports to various countries like Sri Lanka as well as traditional customers will be time-consuming. He noted that several negotiations have been conducted with almost all traditional customers of the Iranian oil over the past few months and all countries are seriously seeking to buy Iran’s crude.

Sri Lanka’s was dependent almost entirely on Iran for its crude oil supplies since the country’s only refinery at Sapugaskanda that processes 50,000 barrels per day can only process Iranian crude.

However, with the sanctions imposed on Iran, Sri Lanka has procured crude oil supplies from other sources and Sri Lanka had not imported any crude from Iran after June 2012. In April 2012, Sri Lanka signed an agreement with Oman Oil Co (OOC) to purchase oil from Oman and also sought crude purchases from Saudi Arabia and Vietnam. According to Iranian official, Sri Lanka would import 40 to 50 thousand barrels of Iranian oil before the West had imposed sanctions against Iran.