The Iranian Oil Ministry has denied reports issued by state-controlled media that the country was seeking to halt crude oil shipments to six states in the European Union (EU).

Earlier Wednesday morning, the English-language Press TV news broadcaster said that Iran would cease sending crude oil exports to the Netherlands, Greece, France, Portugal, Spain and Italy, in retaliation for EU economic sanctions on Teheran.

We deny this report ... If such a decision is made, it will be announced by Iran's Supreme National Security Council, an oil ministry spokesman told Reuters.

Oil prices are up about 0.85 percent in New York trading.

According to reports, about 20 percent of Iran’s oil exports go to the EU, with Italy and Greece particularly dependent on Persian crude.

The EU has already placed an embargo on Iranian oil, which was due to become effective in July.