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International Herald Tribune: Report: Iran asks Japanese refiners Showa Shell, Cosmo Oil to pay for oil in yen

The Associated Press
Published: July 19, 2007

TOKYO: Iran recently asked Japanese refiners Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. and Cosmo Oil Co. to pay for crude oil imports in yen instead of dollars, a media report said Thursday.

Both refiners are considering the request, Dow Jones Newswires said, citing unnamed company representatives.

Iran has been trying to persuade Asian buyers to make payments in non-U.S. currencies to reduce its U.S. dollar holdings, a move that is seen as a response to the dollar’s recent weakness and to pressure from Washington to limit Iran’s dealings with the U.S. financial system.

On Wednesday, Nippon Oil Corp.’s Chairman Fumiaki Watari said the company may start paying Iran in yen for crude oil imports from September or October, according to Dow Jones.

State-owned National Iranian Oil Co. has been receiving about 70 percent of its oil sales revenues in recent months in non-U.S. currencies, mostly euros, according to an earlier report on the Iranian Oil Ministry’s information network.

Oil exports make up about 80 percent of Iran’s hard currency earnings.

Japan is the world’s second largest importer of crude oil.

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/07/19/business/AS-FIN-Japan-Iran-Oil-Companies.php

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