NewsSpecial WireJapanese banks curb loans to Iran – report

Japanese banks curb loans to Iran – report

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Iran Focus: London, Jun. 25 – Japan’s banks are stepping up financial pressure on Iran – restricting loans and rejecting an Iranian request to pay for oil imports in currencies other than dollars, Britain’s Financial Times quoted banking and official sources as saying. Iran Focus

London, Jun. 25 – Japan’s banks are stepping up financial pressure on Iran – restricting loans and rejecting an Iranian request to pay for oil imports in currencies other than dollars, Britain’s Financial Times quoted banking and official sources as saying.

Three Japanese banks – Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho, and Sumitomo Mitsui – had informed the Iranian authorities in April that they would not conduct new business in Iran, the FT quoted a senior banker as saying.

Iran is defying three UN Security Council resolutions ordering it to suspend its uranium enrichment activities. The West sees Iran’s nuclear activities as a major weapons proliferation threat.

The Japanese banks’ action followed pressure from Washington and reflected a hardening line towards Iran by Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister.

The banker and a Japanese energy official said in April, Iran had proposed to Japanese trading houses that they pay for Iranian oil in non-dollar currencies.

“This may reflect Iran’s concerns about the vulnerability of its dollar assets to a freeze by US authorities and its increasing difficulty in conducting international transactions in dollars”, the FT said.

Trading companies declined to stop paying in dollars after consulting the Japanese government, the banker said. The energy official denied government influence, saying it was a private sector matter.

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