Oct 12, 2018 08:56 Asia/Tehran
  • Japan asks US for relief from Iran sanctions

Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso asked his US counterpart Steven Mnuchin to ensure Japanese firms are not hurt by Washington's unilateral sanctions against Iran.

Iran Press/Asia: Aso told a press conference that he relayed to Mnuchin his "hope that Japan's concerns are addressed" in the meeting on the sidelines of a gathering of finance leaders from the Group of 20 major economies, Kyodo news agency reported Friday. 

Japanese officials have said Iran's oil is "extremely important" to their country's energy security.

Japan is not the only country that seek to trade with Iran despite US unilateral sanctions.

Defying the Trump administration’s warning for countries to completely stop buying Iranian oil, two Indian firms have placed orders to import crude from the Islamic Republic.

Speaking at "The Energy Forum" in New Delhi o Monday, Indian petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the country was considering evolving a different payment system to buy Iran's oil and that it could pay using Indian rupees.

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India is the second biggest purchaser of Iranian crude  and Indian refiners imported around 10 million barrels of Iranian crude in October.

Besides India, China also increased shipments from the Middle Eastern country by 29,000 bpd to 620,000 bpd.

The Trump administration who once claimed to bring Iran's oil exports to zero, now is open to allowing some countries to continue importing Iranian oil, according to U.S. officials who confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon that some nations may get a temporary pass from a cadre of new sanctions set to be imposed next month.

Meanwhile, White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said that the administration’s goal was that there would be no waivers and “exports of Iranian oil and gas and condensates drops to zero.”

However, the US official said last week the administration was “prepared to work with countries that are reducing their imports on a case-by-case basis.”

Back in May, the US withdrew from a 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement with Iran and said it would re-introduce the sanctions that had been lifted under the accord.

Washington reinstated a series of unilateral sanctions against Iran in early August and would re-impose a second batch in November which would primarily be meant to undermine Tehran’s oil exports.


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