Eleven countries are “significantly” cutting the oil they buy from Iran, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced in a statement of support yesterday.
Japan joins the UK in cutting oil from Iran, alongside EU stalwarts France, Germany and Spain, as well as the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Belgium.
Secretary of State Clinton put her support behind the countries: “The actions taken by these countries were not easy. They had to rethink their energy needs at a critical time for the world economy and quickly begin to find alternatives to Iranian oil, which many had been reliant on for their energy needs.”
She said Japan’s action was “especially noteworthy” in the aftermath of the Fukushima crisis considering the loss of nuclear power that followed.
It comes alongside EU sanctions which are designed to pressure Iran to fall in line over its nuclear programme, which some believe to be a cover for nuclear weapons testing.
The EU has banned all new purchases of Iranian crude oil as of January 23 and will phase out existing contracts by July.