Japan resumes buying Iranian crude: CB governor

TEHRAN (AA): Japan has resumed Iranian crude oil imports after having halted them earlier following last year’s re-imposition of US sanctions on Tehran, Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency reported, citing the head of Iran’s Central Bank.

“Following the lead of China, South Korea, India and Turkey, Japan has now also resumed the import of Iranian oil,” IRNA quoted Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Governor Abdol Naser Hemmati as saying.

“New oil revenue will gradually enter the [domestic] business cycle, which in turn will stimulate trade,” he added.

Hemmati went on to assert that Iran possessed “sufficient amount of foreign currency” to meet public demand.

Last year, in an effort to persuade Tehran to negotiate a new agreement on its nuclear program, the US re-imposed sanctions targeting Iran’s energy, shipbuilding, shipping, and financial sectors.

Washington also, however, granted temporary exemptions to the top eight importers of Iranian oil, which, along with Japan, include Turkey, China, India, South Korea, Italy, the United Arab Emirates and Taiwan.

According to OPEC, Iran’s total oil production last November fell to 2.95 million barrels a day down from 3.33 million barrels the previous month.

Recent IMF estimates indicate that Iran needs oil prices to reach $98.6 a barrel this year — and $95.4 next year — to balance its budget for 2019.