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U.S. Asked Japan to Halt Iran Oil Buying, Sources Say

  • Halt requested during talks with Japan; no decision taken yet
  • That goes beyond cut demanded when sanctions were last imposed
A support vessel flying an Iranian national flag sails alongside the oil tanker 'Devon' as it prepares to transport crude oil to export markets.

A support vessel flying an Iranian national flag sails alongside the oil tanker 'Devon' as it prepares to transport crude oil to export markets.

Photographer: Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg

The U.S. has asked Japan to completely halt oil imports from Iran, going beyond the reductions that were demanded when sanctions were imposed earlier this decade, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

While American government officials made the request during talks with Japanese counterparts in Tokyo this week, no decision has been reached and discussions will continue later, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. When U.S. President Donald Trump decided to renew sanctions against Iran last month, his administration gave its allies 180 days to reduce purchases from the OPEC producer.