Japanese government sources: Iran oil loaded on Tokyo-insured tankers
Azerbaijan, Baku, July 21 / Trend /
Japan has reportedly loaded its first self-insured shipment of Iranian crude oil on two Japanese tankers following the implementation of a US-engineered European Union (EU) oil embargo against Tehran, PressTV reported.
The Japanese government inked deals with two domestic shipping companies earlier this week to provide insurance cover for the country's two super tankers, which are to transfer a total of three million barrels of Iranian crude by the end of July, Japanese Industry and government sources told Reuters on Friday.
On June 20, in a move to counter the US-led EU insurance bans against Iran, Japan's parliament endorsed a bill to provide $7.6 billion in guarantees to ship owners that transfer Iranian crude oil.
On January 23, under pressure from the United States, the EU foreign ministers approved new sanctions against Tehran. The sanctions, which prevent some EU member states from purchasing Iran's oil or extending insurance coverage for tankers carrying Iranian crude, came into effect on July 1.
Japan, which imported nine percent of its oil from Iran in 2011, refused to cease the purchase of the Islamic Republic's crude over concerns regarding the likelihood of a surge in the imported oil prices and its subsequent negative effects on Japan's economic development.
Meanwhile, China, Iran's main oil buyer, will also import full contracted volumes of Iranian crude oil in July after Chinese refiner Sinopec and the National Iranian Tanker Company reached an agreement on freight rates, China-based oil officials said on Friday.
The US and the EU have imposed financial sanctions as well as an oil embargo against Iran since the beginning of 2012, claiming that the country's nuclear energy program includes a military component.
Tehran refutes such allegations, noting that frequent inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency have never found any diversion in Iran's nuclear energy program toward military purposes.