Japan Approves New Sanctions On Iran
Wall Street Journal / Christopher Matthews

Japan is adding its name to the group of countries tightening the grip on Tehran.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s cabinet approved a fresh round of financial sanctions against Iran on Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported. The move followed steps taken by the U.S., U.K. and the E.U. in recent weeks to intensify the global crackdown on Tehran’s nuclear development program.

The new sanctions will freeze the assets of an additional 106 organizations, one individual and three banks, widening to more than 350 the circle of Iran-based entities believed to be linked to the country’s nuclear development program and subject to these restrictions.

But energy-starved Tokyo rejected pressure to curb imports of Iranian oil, a move that some Western nations have urged.

Iranian crude oil commands a significant chunk of Japan’s energy supply, making up roughly 10% of the country’s intake. Government officials in both the economy and foreign ministries signaled a wariness to curb Iranian imports that may further shake Japan’s ability to secure a stable energy supply in the wake of the March 11 disasters that idled many of the country’s nuclear reactors.

“We would like to be careful in dealing with sanctions against Iran, which produces large amounts of crude oil, taking into consideration possible impacts on crude oil prices and the global economy,” Yukio Edano, the minister of economy, trade and industry said Friday morning.

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