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Japan crude imports from Iran fall 18.9% in October

Japan has been pressured into buying less oil from Iran since early 2012 under Western sanctions

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Japan’s crude imports from Iran in October plunged 18.9 percent from a year ago to 127,279 barrels per day, data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed on Friday, as the world’s third-biggest oil consumer struggled to adhere to U.S. sanctions targeting Tehran.

Japan, China, India and South Korea take most of Iran’s crude exports and have been pressured to buy less from the OPEC producer since early 2012 under Western sanctions aimed at cutting oil funds to Tehran over its disputed nuclear program.

Shipments may start rising after Iran and six world powers clinched a deal on Sunday to curb the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for initial sanctions relief, signaling the start of a game-changing rapprochement that would reduce the risk of a wider Middle East war.