Iran has wished that Japan keep buying Iranian oil: Japanese PM spokesman

Takeshi Osuga who is the spokesman for the Japanese delegation, headed by PM Shinzo Abe, to Iran has avoided at all costs to confirm whether Iranian president and Abe talked about Iran crude sales to the country. He says it was only raised by President Rouhani as a "wishful statement".

13 June 2019
ID : 22040
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Takeshi Osuga who is the spokesman for the Japanese delegation, headed by PM Shinzo Abe, to Iran has avoided at all costs to confirm whether Iranian president and Abe talked about Iran crude sales to the country. He says it was only raised by President Rouhani as a "wishful statement".

Iranian President Hassan Rouhai, middle left, holds talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, opposite, in Tehran on 12 June. IRNA/Akbar Tavakoli

The spokesman for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is on a historic visit to Iran, says Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has wished that Tokyo keeps buying energy from Tehran.

“The Iranian President Rouhani wished, in talks with Mr Abe, that Japan continue buying energy from Iran,” said Japanese PM’s Spokesman Takeshi Osuga at the end of a one-hour press conference that was held at the luxurious Iranian hotel Espinas Palace in the northwest of Tehran late Wednesday.

The official avoided answering the Iran Chamber Newsroom questions whether the two Japanese and Iranian officials discussed the Iranian energy purchase during their 90-minutes talks earlier Wednesday.

“I have to refrain from confirming the details of those discussions,” he told Iran Chamber Newsroom when asked whether the topic came up in the negotiations.

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe is on a historic official visit to Iran that takes place after 41 years when his father Shinto Abe met with Iranian officials inn 1983. 

Japan was one of the eight countries that were given 180-day waivers to load Iranian crude after the sanctions were put in place in November last year. The US didn’t renew the exemptions past 02 May.

Osuga, who is also Japanese foreign ministry's press secretary, said that “purchase of energy or oil from Iran or any other country is a decision in our system and private companies” when asked several times by Iran Chamber Newsroom about Iranian crude sales to the East Asian country. “I can not predict their decisions in the future at this time,” he stressed.

"I can only confirm that on bilateral relations, they discussed about cooperation in the areas that benefit the Iranian people. Other than that I can not confirm what was discussed and what not," he said. 

Japan stopped buying oil from Iran in April in compliance with the US sanctions.

Late January, the Japanese refiner Fuji Oil loaded the first cargo of Iranian crude after the waivers were issued.

The Asian country imported more than 290,000 barrels per day from Iran in March after the Tokyo restarted crude purchases from Tehran before the waivers ended on 2 May. 

 

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