Despite international sanctions on Iran’s petroleum products due to its nuclear policy, Japan has become the first buyer of the Middle-Eastern country to pay for its oil imports. International restrictions levied on Iran for the past two years has affected the nation as importers were banned from paying for the nation’s crude oil products unless negotiation on its nuclear program has been finalized.
Sources, who refused to be named, said that funds have been released to an Iranian Central Bank account in Switzerland from an account registered under the Bank of Japan. An undisclosed amount of Iranian funds are currently frozen and held by the Bank of Japan, according to a source. While one confirmed that an amount of $550 million has been transferred to an Iranian account as payment for crude imports, another source disclosed that Japan is likely to pay Iran as imports come due. An agreement made on November 24 with six major countries says that Tehran can receive limited sanctions relief if it will restrict its nuclear program. Iran can access $4.2 billion of its frozen oil revenue overseas under the interim agreement provided it keeps its end of the bargain. This has kept Iran’s importers from buying oil to keep up with the sanctions imposed by US and Europe.
Last month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that his nation is keen on establishing a comprehensive agreement to help develop its crumbling economy. He has invited Western companies and guaranteed a better oil investment model for contracts that will be closed by September. While French and Russian oil companies have met with the president, Japanese firms are approaching the invitation cautiously to avoid a falling out with the U.S. Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group paid a fine of $9 million to U.S. regulators in 2012 because it violated a payment sanction in 2007.
[via Solar News]