Bloomberg quoted sources as saying that Washington asked Japan to completely stop importing oil from Iran following new US sanctions against Tehran.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said that most customers continue to purchase Iran’s oil and that the country’s oil exports are close to 2.5 million barrels a day this month.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Zanganeh also made it plain that Iran is poised to find “some other way to try to preserve output in the face of new US sanctions against the Islamic Republic.”
READ MORE: US Sanctions Will Not Affect Oil Exports From Iran – Iranian Oil Minister
“I cannot describe these other ways. If the United States administration knows what we are going to do, they will block us,” he pointed out, adding that oil companies are unlikely to “receive a waiver” from Washington.
Zanganeh’s remarks came after sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that although the US has already asked Japan to completely stop oil imports from Iran, Tokyo has yet to decide on how to proceed.
Takashi Yamada, director of petroleum policy at Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, for his part, declined to comment on the situation, given that Tokyo’s talks with Washington are still under way.
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Last year, Japan received 5.3 percent of its oil requirements from Iran, or 172,000 barrels per day, according to Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
In May 2018, US President Donald Trump announced Washington’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal signed by Russia, the United States, Britain, China, France and Germany in 2015.
Trump also announced the restoration of all sanctions against Iran, giving international oil companies 180 days to stop purchases from the Islamic Republic.