Japan says increased Iran crude imports
Japan's Finance Ministry says the Asian state more than doubled its crude imports from Iran in November compared with October, Press TV reported.
Japan's November crude purchase from Iran hit the highest level since March, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.
Japan imported 1.25 million kiloliters of crude from Iran in November compared with 469,024 kiloliters in October.
Tokyo-based independent energy economist, Osamu Fujisawa said Japan is raising its crude imports from Iran in a bid to make up for its shortages due to Western sanctions against Iran.
"They are trying to diversify their crude sources and Iran is one of the important countries for Japan," said Fujisawa.
On Wednesday, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said his country keeps importing crude from Iran.
"Unlike some European countries, Turkey is not a country, which imports three-five percent of its needs from Iran," he said. "Last year, Turkey met almost half of its needs from Iran. It is an important source of imports therefore."
Earlier this week, Iran's Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said the country has successfully bypassed sanctions imposed on its energy sector.
At the beginning of 2012, the United States and the European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran's oil and financial sectors.
On October 15, the EU foreign ministers agreed on another round of sanctions against Iran.
The illegal US-engineered sanctions have been imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities, but has never found any evidence showing that Tehran's nuclear energy program has been diverted towards military objectives.