Japanese refiner Fuji Oil was loaded with Iranian crude oil in the first cargo to head for the East Asian country since Tokyo received a waiver from the US sanctions on Tehran, AVA Diplomatic reports.
Japan says it will continue purchasing Iranian oil as the crude ‘plays an important role in the country’s long-term plans’.
‘We’ve had hard and complex negotiations with the US to buy oil from the Islamic Republic and finally the Japanese oil tanker berthed at Iran’s ports,’ Japanese Ambassador to Iran Mitsugu Saito was cited as saying by Iran’s parliament website.
‘Japan will continue buying Iranian oil as it has an important role in our long-term plans,’ added the Japanese envoy following a meeting with the Iranian lawmaker Kazem Jalali.
Saito stressed that some Japanese companies are still in cooperation with the ‘Islamic Republic’ although some western countries abandoned Iran following restored unilateral US sanctions.
Japanese and Iranian diplomatic relations date back to 90 years ago. ‘We hope our bilateral cooperation would increase,’ said the Japanese official.
For his part, Jalali, who is head of the Parliament’s Research Center, expressed the hope that long-standing ties between the two countries would lead to an increase in their economic cooperation.
The Iranian parliamentarian said the US unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 international treaty with Iran on its nuclear programme, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), will harm all countries. ‘If Japan and other world countries want to preserve the international laws and that other nations abide by their obligations, they need to resist against the US.’