Japan has made a second payment to Iran for oil imports following the partial easing of sanctions on Tehran in line with the Geneva nuclear deal.
Japan deposited USD 450 million in funds owed for oil imported from Iran in a Central Bank of Iran (CBI) account, Reuters quoted diplomatic sources as saying on Wednesday.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, Britain, France, Russia and China — plus Germany signed the Geneva deal on November 24, 2013. The two sides started to implement the agreement on January 20 and aim to continue negotiations for a final comprehensive deal.
Under the Geneva agreement, the Sextet of world powers agreed to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Tehran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period. It was also agreed that no nuclear-related sanctions would be imposed on Iran within the same time frame.
The sanctions relief for Iran includes access to USD 4.2 billion of its oil revenues frozen abroad by eight money-transfer schedules through July.
In January, Japan became the first of Iran’s oil buyers to make a payment for crude imports following the Geneva deal. One source confirmed the Japanese payment was USD 550 million.
Under the deal, the second and third payment schedules were March 1 for USD 450 million and March 7 for USD 550 million.
On February 25, India’s oil secretary Vivek Rae said New Delhi is ready to pay USD 1.5 billion owed to Iran for oil imports.
World oil giants, including Royal Dutch Shell, British Petroleum (BP), Malaysia’s Petronas, Spain’s Repsol, Russia’s second largest oil producer, Lukoil, France’s Total and Italy’s Eni, have shown interest in returning to Iran following the easing of sanctions against the Islamic Republic.