Corey Flintoff

Corey Flintoff is NPR's international correspondent based in Moscow. His journalism career has taken him to more than 50 countries, most recently to cover the civil war in Libya, the revolution in Egypt and the war in Afghanistan.

After joining NPR in 1990, Flintoff worked for many years as a newscaster during All Things Considered. In 2005, he became part of the NPR team covering the Iraq War, where he embedded with U.S. military units fighting insurgents and hunting roadside bombs.

Flintoff's reporting from Iraq includes stories on sectarian killings, government corruption, the Christian refugee crisis and the destruction of Iraq's southern marshes. In 2010, he traveled to Haiti to report on the massive earthquake its aftermath. Two years before, he reported on his stint on a French warship chasing pirates off the coast of Somalia.

One of Flintoff's favorite side jobs at NPR is standing in for Carl Kasell during those rare times when the venerable scorekeeper takes a break from Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Before NPR, Flintoff served as the executive producer and host of Alaska News Nightly, a daily news magazine produced by the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage. His coverage of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill was recognized with the 1989 Corporation for Public Broadcasting Award.

In 1977, Flintoff got his start in public radio working at at KYUK-AM/TV, in Bethel, Alaska. KYUK is a bilingual English-Yup'ik Eskimo station and Flintoff learned just enough Yup'ik to announce the station identification. He wrote and produced a number of television documentaries about Alaskan life, including "They Never Asked Our Fathers" and "Eyes of the Spirit," which have aired on PBS and are now in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution.

He tried his hand at commercial herring fishing, dog-mushing, fiction writing and other pursuits, but failed to break out of the radio business.

Flintoff has a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a master's degree from the University of Chicago, both in English literature. In 2011, he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Drexel University.

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Parallels
4:52 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Despite Critics, Russia Promises A Grand Olympic Spectacle

As Sochi, Russia, prepares to host the 2014 Olympic Games, workers walk past piles of dirt at the construction site of Fisht Stadium and Olympic Park on May 20.
Artur Lebedev ITAR-TASS/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 10:04 am

As Russia prepares to host the world for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, it faces a number of challenges: The weather is mild for winter sports; residents are complaining about being displaced; and the project is costing a huge amount of money.

Yet the Black Sea resort town, a favorite of President Vladimir Putin, is bustling with construction cranes. Workers are racing to complete high-rise hotels and state-of-the-art venues for figure skating, speedskating and hockey.

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Parallels
6:07 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Russian Lawmakers: Don't Criticize Soviet Actions In WWII

A column of Russia's T-90 tanks rumbles over the cobblestones in Moscow's Red Square on May 9 during the country's Victory Day parade celebrating the anniversary of its costly victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

World War II remains a monumental event in the collective Russian mind. It's known as the "Great Patriotic War," and Russians believe no one made greater sacrifices than the Soviet Union when it came to defeating Nazi Germany.

The end of the war is celebrated with a huge military parade in Moscow's Red Square on May 9, commemorating the millions of men and women, military and civilian, who died during the struggle.

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Parallels
7:20 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Gerard Depardieu To Star In Two Chechnya-Based Films

French actor Gerard Depardieu (right) chats with Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov shortly after his arrival in Chechnya's capital, Grozny, on Feb. 24.
Musa Sadulayev AP

Actor Gerard Depardieu is reportedly set to begin filming a new thriller with British actress-model Elizabeth Hurley, to be set in Moscow and Grozny, the capital of the Russian republic of Chechnya.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
3:18 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Investigating The Boston Bombing ... In Southern Russia

Investigators work at the site of a bombing in the Dagestan capital, Makhachkala, last year. The blasts near a police post killed at least 15 people. The southern Russian republic has seen persistent violence.
AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 9:59 pm

The search for the motivations of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers stretches from New England to Central Asia, but a lot of attention has been focused on Dagestan.

The mostly Muslim republic is located in the southernmost part of Russia, and it's been the battleground in a low-level insurgency that takes lives nearly every day.

One of the suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, traveled to Dagestan twice in recent years, and investigators want to know whether that experience led him toward a radical and violent form of Islam.

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Asia
6:37 am
Sat April 20, 2013

Suspects' Chechen Roots Draws Eyes In Russia

In this image taken from a cellphone video, the father of the Boston bombing suspects, Anzor Tsarnaev, talks to the media about his sons, in his home in Makhachkala, the Dagestani capital, on Friday.
AP

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 2:09 pm

The Boston Marathon bombing suspects are ethnic Chechens with links to the volatile North Caucasus region of Russia. Moscow's reaction to that fact appears to be as complex as the region's turbulent history.

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Europe
4:51 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Emigre Artist Sculpted Exquisite Gems Of Russian Folk Life

Bosom Pals, an iconic sculpture by Russian artist Vasily Konovalenko.
Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 8:20 pm

A team of American researchers is on a treasure hunt for jewels β€” of both artistic and historic value.

This month, researchers from Denver were in Russia to document the work of Vasily Konovalenko, a former ballet set designer turned sculptor, who created scenes from Russian folk life in semiprecious stones.

In the 1980s, Konovalenko emigrated from what was then the Soviet Union in search of artistic freedom. Now, his legacy is divided between the U.S. and Russia.

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Europe
3:13 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Once Championed By Putin, Medvedev Falls Precipitously Out Of Favor

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, heads a State Council session alongside Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow last year. Increasing political attacks on Medvedev have accompanied Putin's suspicions about his erstwhile partner's ambitions.
Yekaterina Shtukina AP

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 9:56 pm

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev appears increasingly isolated from the centers of power surrounding President Vladimir Putin.

Analysts say Medvedev is the target of a campaign to wreck his reputation and drive him from office. It's a risky situation for the former president, who was once regarded as Putin's partner.

The attacks have come from many directions. One of the harshest was an anonymous, documentary-style film that was posted on the Internet in January.

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Europe
1:32 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

In Crackdown, Some Russian Groups Labeled As 'Foreign Agents'

The chief of Amnesty International Russia, Sergei Nikitin, at his Moscow office on March 25, after Russian prosecutors and tax police carried out a search. The group is one of many that have been searched under a new law that critics say is being used to stifle dissent.
Ivan Sekretarev AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 9:55 pm

Russian investigators have descended on the offices of nongovernmental organizations across the country, demanding to inspect financial records and other documents.

This follows the recent passage of a law designed to impose tighter controls over these NGOs, especially those that receive funding from abroad. Critics say it's part of a broader crackdown on dissent since Vladimir Putin regained the presidency last year.

The offices of the human rights group Memorial are still abuzz after a team of government inspectors paid an unannounced visit

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Europe
3:25 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Rubles For Minutes, Not Mochas, At Russian Cafe Chain

Tsiferblat, or Clockface Cafe, in Moscow draws a young crowd, from students to entrepreneurs. The cafe provides Wi-Fi, printers, books and art supplies. Drinks, snacks, atmosphere and the space are free. All customers pay for is time.
Courtesy Of Diana Derby

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:04 pm

Cafe life has taken hold in modern Russia. From Starbucks to local chains such as Kofe Khaus and Schokoladnitsia, there are lots of places to hang out, see and be seen.

It's a striking change in a country where, in Soviet times, the best an ordinary comrade could expect was a mug of tea in a workers canteen.

The world over, the basic contract between cafe and customer is this: You buy a drink or a snack, and you get to use the premises for as long as it takes to consume it.

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Europe
5:09 am
Sun December 30, 2012

The Mysterious Disappearance Of The Russian Crown Jewels

This necklace appears in the 1922 album at the USGS library, but not in the 1925 book on the Russian crown jewels.
www.usgs.gov

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 2:49 am

The story of the missing Russian crown jewels begins, as so many great adventures do, in a library.

In this case, it was the U.S. Geological Survey Library in Reston, Va.

Richard Huffine, the director, was looking through the library's rare-book collection when he came upon an oversized volume.

"And there's no markings on the outside, there's no spine label or anything like that," he says. "This one caught our eye, and we pulled it aside to take a further look at it."

Researcher Jenna Nolt was one of those who took a look.

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Europe
5:06 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Russia's Putin Signs Controversial Adoption Bill

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 1:42 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a measure into law that would ban Americans from adopting Russian children.

Russia's parliament had overwhelmingly approved the ban, which was designed as retaliation for a new U.S. law that sanctions Russian officials accused of human rights violations.

The adoption ban stirred outrage in Russia as well as the United States.

An online petition against the measure rapidly collected more than 100,000 signatures in Russia.

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World
8:42 am
Sat December 22, 2012

Adoption Ban Puts Orphans At Center Of U.S.-Russia Dispute

Police officers detain a protester outside the lower house of Russia's parliament on Wednesday. This week, Russian legislators passed a bill banning Americans from adopting Russian children after the U.S. passed a law that rebukes Russia for human rights abuses.
Evgeny Feldman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 11:40 am

Russian lawmakers have approved a measure that would bar Americans from adopting Russian children, a move that comes in retaliation for a U.S. law that seeks to "name and shame" Russian officials who violate human rights.

President Vladimir Putin has voiced support for the adoption ban, but it's not clear whether he'll actually sign the measure, which has potential pitfalls.

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The Salt
3:33 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Wine And Food May Rekindle Love Lost Between Russia And Georgia

Eating lamb dumplings called khinkali at a table in Tbilisi, Georgia.
ostromentsky Flickr.com

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 2:10 am

It's a big day in the religious and culinary calendar of the Republic of Georgia. Georgian Orthodox believers observe Dec. 17 as St. Barbara's Day, in honor of an early Christian martyr. And they typically mark the occasion by eating a type of stuffed bread called lobiani, baked with a filling of boiled beans with coriander and onions.

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World
3:16 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Russian Scandal Hints At Larger Political Battle

Russian President Vladimir Putin and former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, who was recently fired, review military officers on Moscow's Red Square in May. Putin's decision to sack Serdyukov has touched off widespread speculation on the motive.
Alexei Druzhinin AP

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 10:33 am

Russia is in the middle of a blazing tabloid-style scandal that features a bejeweled blonde, a luxury love nest, and an alleged scam worth more than $200 million.

But that's not where some Kremlin watchers are putting their attention. They see the scandal as just the visible fallout from a vicious backroom fight among Russia's ruling elite.

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Sports
2:45 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Russia's Hockey Glad To Have NHL-Lockout Orphans

Erik Christensen, right, from Lev Praha challenges Alexander Ovechkin from Dynamo Moscow during their KHL ice hockey match in Prague, Czech Republic, Tuesday, Oct. 9. Ovechkin is among those NHL players who were signed by European clubs because of the NHL lockout.
Petr David Josek AP

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 3:43 am

As the National Hockey League lockout drags into its 86th day, which featured news that more games have been cancelled including the All-Star game, some of the league's biggest stars are getting plenty of action back in their home countries.

In Russia, major NHL players such as Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin are giving a boost to the fledgling KHLβ€”the Kontinental Hockey League.

Russian NHL players are scattered throughout the KHL teams that still carry names from the Soviet era when Russia dominated world hockey.

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World
5:13 am
Wed November 28, 2012

In Russia, Pro-Putin Youths Protest Mormons As 'Cult'

Activists from the Young Guard, which supports Russian President Vladimir Putin, have been protesting the Mormon church in Russia, calling it a "totalitarian cult."
Konstantin Zavrazhin Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 7:48 am

Young supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin have staged several protests this month outside Mormon meeting houses, claiming that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is an "authoritarian sect" with connections to the CIA and FBI.

The protesters are members of the Young Guard, a youth organization of Putin's United Russia Party. They insist their actions have nothing to do with Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate and Mormon who called Russia the "No. 1 geopolitical foe" of the U.S.

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World
2:32 pm
Fri November 23, 2012

Russia, U.S. Seek To Resolve Friction On Adoptions

Artyom Savelyev, now 9, was sent back to Russia on a plane by his adoptive U.S. mother in 2010. The case stirred anger in Russia.
Misha Japaridze AP

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 7:29 pm

Americans have been adopting Russian children in sizable numbers for two decades, and most of the unions have worked out well. But it remains a sensitive topic in Russia, where officials periodically point to high-profile cases of abuse or other problems.

Now, the two countries are putting the finishing touches on a new agreement governing these adoptions. It will make the process costlier and more time-consuming, but it's designed to address a host of concerns.

Some Russian officials still seem to bristle at the very thought of foreigners adopting Russian children.

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World
9:45 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Russia's Putin Welcomes Obama's Re-Election

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 10:31 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent word congratulating President Obama on his victory. Still, as NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Moscow, during the campaign, the Russian government and state-run media sough to discredit the American electoral process.

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Europe
5:16 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Putin, Russia's Man Of Action, Is Slowed By Injury

Russian President Vladimir Putin pilots a motorized hang glider while taking part in a project to help endangered cranes on Sept. 5. Shortly after, the president β€” who has cultivated the image of a man of action β€” was photographed wincing in apparent pain.
Alexey Druzhinin/Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 5:25 pm

Take it easy, tough guy.

Russian officials are acknowledging that President Vladimir Putin has been slowed by back problems, but they insist he won't be sidelined for long.

Rumors about an injury began to float in early September, when the Russian leader was seen wincing at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vladivostok.

A Kremlin spokesman said it's a minor injury, about what you'd expect in an athletic fellow like the 60-year-old Putin. Nonetheless, several overseas trips have been canceled.

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World
5:59 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Russia Set To Redefine Treason, Sparking Fears

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 6:41 am

Russia's parliament has approved an expanded legal definition of high treason, prompting accusations that President Vladimir Putin's government wants to further crack down on opponents.

Supporters say the proposed changes bring Russia's law up-to-date and will help the country's security service counter modern forms of spying and interference by foreign governments.

Opponents, including human rights groups, say the bill's language has been made so vague that it could potentially be used to punish almost any Russian who has contacts with foreigners

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World
2:29 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Radio Liberty Going Off The Air In Russia

Police officers detain Kirill Filimonov, one of the supporters of Radio Liberty in Moscow during a recent protest. The service will stop AM radio broadcasts and will become an Internet operation. It can also be heard on short wave radio.
Natalia Kolesnikova AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:42 am

Radio Liberty was founded in the 1950s to broadcast American views into the former Soviet Union when the Cold War was at its peak. Radio Liberty transmitted on short wave, and the Soviet government did all it could to jam the broadcasts.

But after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian President Boris Yeltsin granted the service permission to open a Moscow bureau and broadcast within the country on AM radio.

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The Two-Way
4:36 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Texas Company Charged In Illegal Technology Transfers To Russia

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 5:22 pm

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn say they have broken up a ring that allegedly exported sensitive electronic technology to Russia.

Eight people were arrested today in Houston, including Alexander Fishenko, an immigrant from Kazakhstan who built a multi-million dollar export firm called Arc Electrics.

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Europe
5:20 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Opposition Victory Signals New Direction For Georgia

Georgian billionaire and opposition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili (left) reacts with supporters at his office on Monday. Ivanishvili defeated Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in the election, clearing the way for a new government.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 6:14 pm

Parliamentary elections in Georgia, the former Soviet republic, delivered a resounding defeat for the ruling party of President Mikheil Saakashvili on Monday. Preliminary election results showed the opposition winning 57 percent of the vote.

A day later, the president conceded defeat. In a televised address, Saakashvili said he respected the decision of the voters, and that he would clear the way for the opposition Georgian Dream party to form a new government, a move that would install opposition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili as prime minister.

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Religion
5:08 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

For Hasidic Jews, A Slow, Steady Rebirth In Russia

Dovid Karpov has been the rabbi at the Darkei Shalom synagogue since it was built 15 years ago. Like many people in his congregation, Karpov grew up in a Soviet-era family that was not religious. He says he had to learn his faith for himself.
Sergei Sotnikov NPR

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 4:24 pm

About a dozen men prayed recently at Darkei Shalom, a Hasidic Jewish synagogue in the working-class neighborhood of Otradnoye in north Moscow.

Except for the Star of David on its squat tower, the building is as plain and utilitarian as the linoleum on the floor. It sits β€” along with a Russian Orthodox church and a mosque β€” on a leafy stretch of land surrounded by towering apartment blocks.

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Europe
2:38 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Educated Russians Often Lured To Leave

Russia is suffering from an exodus of educated, talented citizens, including scientists. Here, scientists rally in Moscow to demand the government increase funding for science last October.
Kirill Kudryavtsev AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 11:43 am

Russia has been facing troubling demographics ever since the Soviet breakup two decades ago. The population has contracted by several million people over this period. The birth rate is low. Life expectancy for men is still less than 65 years.

And there is also a sense that many educated, talented people are leaving the country.

To take one example, the world of science lit up in July, when a billionaire Internet investor named Yuri Milner announced nine prizes for some of the world's most innovative thinkers in physics.

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World
6:24 am
Sun September 2, 2012

In Russia, 200-Year-Old Battle A Day To Remember

Members of historical clubs, dressed as Russian cavalry, advance during the 2010 re-enactment of the 1812 battle between Napoleon's army and Russian troops in Borodino.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 1:08 pm

Two hundred years ago this week, Napoleon Bonaparte fought a battle in Russia that may have begun his undoing. He led his Grand Army against the Imperial Russian Army near a village called Borodino, about 70 miles from Moscow.

It was the single bloodiest day of the Napoleonic Wars, and it's remembered by Russians as a symbol of national courage. An army of re-enactors relived that Sunday.

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Europe
5:08 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Russian Rockers Get Prison Sentences

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 6:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. Human rights groups are denouncing the sentence handed down today to members of the Russian feminist punk band, Pussy Riot. The group's crimes? It staged a protest in Moscow's main Russian Orthodox Cathedral last winter. A judge convicted the three women of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and sentenced each of them to two years in a labor camp.

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Europe
5:18 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Raid In Russia Brings Underground Sect To Light

Gumar Ganiyev opens the gates of the compound where members of the Islamic sect he belongs to have lived in seclusion since the early 2000s outside Kazan, capital of the Russian province of Tatarstan, earlier this month.
Nikolay Alexandrov AP

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 6:41 pm

The recent headlines in the Russian press were sensational: Members of a reclusive Islamic sect were said to be living in an isolated compound with underground burrows, some as deep as eight stories underground, without electricity or heat.

Reporters have descended on the compound, on the outskirts of the city of Kazan, but have had only limited access and have not been able to confirm all the allegations by Russian officials.

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The Record
4:47 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Feminist Punk Band, Imprisoned For Five Months, Gets Next Gig: Russian Courtroom

Members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, Nadezha Tolokonnikova (left), Yekaterina Samutsevich (center) and Maria Alyokhina, at a hearing in Moscow court on Monday.
Andrey Smirnov Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 5:46 pm

After more than five months in prison, some Russian dissidents are getting their day in court. The three young women are accused of being members of Pussy Riot, a feminist punk band that staged a protest against then presidential-candidate Vladimir Putin in February.

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Middle East
6:25 pm
Sat June 30, 2012

Sanctions May Squeeze Iran ... And Raise Oil Prices

European countries have agreed to stop importing Iranian oil as of Sunday. This could make it harder for Iran to find markets for its crude. Iran has been filling up tankers off its coast, but analysts say it could run out of storage capacity. This photo shows oil tankers off Iran's coast in January.
Kamran Jebreili AP

The sanctions noose around Iran is set to tighten Sunday as the European Union imposes a total embargo on all purchases of Iranian oil.

The new sanctions are aimed at putting pressure on the Islamic Republic to make concessions on its nuclear program. Iran insists the program is limited to peaceful, civilian purposes, but many Western nations believe Iran has nuclear weapons ambitions.

The move against Iran comes at a time when oil prices have been dropping for the past couple of months.

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