Japan May End Iran Oil Loading from October
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Japanese oil refiners may have to stop loading Iranian crude oil from Oct. 1 if Japan’s government does not secure an exemption from US sanctions to allow imports to continue, the president of the Petroleum Association of Japan (PAJ) said on Friday.
If payments to Iran cannot continue after a 180-day “wind-down period” ending on Nov. 4, it is possible that Japanese buyers of Iranian oil will have to make their last order for Iranian oil in August for September-loading cargoes, said Takashi Tsukioka, who is also chairman of Japan’s second-biggest refiner, Idemitsu Kosan Co, Reuters reported.
That is because the payment for October-loading cargoes would be made in November, he told a monthly news conference on Friday.
Tsukioka said that Japan, which would have to get a reprieve from the US by Nov. 4 to continue imports, would study the responses of other countries.
“I think it’s worth paying attention to what actions that some countries like China and India that raised (Iranian oil) imports during the previous US sanctions would take,” he told reporters.
PAJ’s Senior Managing Director Shinya Okuda added that the Japanese trade ministry has been gathering information on details of the proposed US sanctions.
Tsukioka told some reporters after the news conference that Japan’s refining industry had been bracing for a possible cut in Iranian oil import curbs, while the latest sanctions also raised international payment issues.
“In the wake of the last sanctions on Iran, financial institutions became very conservative amid worries that they could not operate in the United States,” he added.
In a speech from the White House on May 8, US President Donald Trump announced the US withdrawal from the accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Trump also said he would reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose "the highest level" of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.
The new US sanctions will take six months to be imposed, but a number of European companies have already halted their businesses in Iran despite verbal pledges by their governments to protect them against any fallout.