Japanese ambassador: Private companies decide on Iranian oil purchases
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 21/ Trend M. Moezzi
The decrease in Japan's oil imports from Iran follows a five-year pattern. The decisions on the purchase are made by the country's private oil companies, Mehr news agency quoted Japan's ambassador to Iran as saying.
Price and confidence in having a long-term supply were among the two factors which Japanese petroleum refineries consider while buying crude oil. Now these companies also have to consider conditions imposed by the U.S. government in its drive to impose the sanctions against Iran, Kinichi Kumano, Japan's ambassador to Iran said.
While Japan's private oil companies were always trying to use a variety of sources for their oil imports, given their business dealings with the U.S., they are influenced by its policies as they look to provide Japan with the oil it needs.
With its exports of 228,000 barrels a day, Iran is Japan's fifth biggest oil supplier after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and Qatar. Over the last five years, Japan has reduced its oil imports from Iran by 11 percent annually, Ambassador Kumano said.
The U.S and EU are working to impose tougher sanctions against Iran. They have embargoed Iran's oil and the U.S. is pressuring other countries to stop purchasing oil from Iran to hurt it financially.
The West's measures are part of an effort to make Iran answer questions about its nuclear program. It says that it is peaceful.