Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez says Western sanctions against Iran\'s oil sector are \"detrimental\" to the stability of world oil prices Iran sanctions are a direct aggression on an oil producing country, he underscored. The minister warned that the \"threat\" against Iran should not be taken lightly by other OPEC members. Ramirez emphasized that it was a \"great myth\" that Persian Gulf oil producers could make up for the loss of Iranian crude by increasing production. Iran\'s decision to halt crude supplies to a number of European states has resulted in a rapid increase in oil prices in the international markets. Iran\'s Oil Ministry announced on February 19 that it had cut oil sales to British and French firms. Tehran also announced it may also halt oil exports to more European countries. The decision by Iran came after European Union foreign ministers agreed to ban oil imports from Iran and freeze the assets of the Iran\'s Central Bank across the EU in line with a US-led effort to impose further pressure on the Iranian economy over its civilian nuclear program. Meantime, news of Iran cutting supplies to six EU member states caused a lot of concern in Europe and in the world\'s markets. The bloc currently buys about 18% of Iran\'s oil exports. Iran is the world\'s 4th largest oil supplier, with China, Japan, and India its largest buyers.