Japanese trading house Mitsubishi Corp has renewed its annual oil purchase deal with Iran in defiance of sanctions against the Islamic Republic’s petroleum sector.
According to a report published by Reuters on Friday, Mitsubishi’s new contractual volume from April onwards remains unclear even though the company bought 15,000 barrels of crude per day (bpd) or more last year.
Trade sources said that Mitsubishi loaded barrels of Iran oil in the period from April to June. Japan's top two buyers of Iranian oil, Showa Shell Sekiyu or/and JX Nippon Oil & Energy should have bought the barrels, they added.
Toyota Tsusho, another trading house besides Mitsubishi, has been also boosting Iranian crude purchase since April for the top two buyers.
This comes as the United States and the European Union have imposed tough financial and oil sanctions on Iran in an attempt to pile up pressure on the country.
The US sanctions measure requires foreign financial institutions to make a choice between transactions with the Central Bank of Iran and Iran’s oil and financial sectors or being banned from the US economy.
On January 23, the EU agreed to ban oil imports as well as petroleum products from Iran and freeze the assets of the Central Bank of Iran across the EU.
The European Union also imposed a ban on the sale of diamonds and gold and other precious metals to Iran.
Iran's Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Shamseddin Hosseini said on May 20 that oil prices will soar to as high as $160 per barrel if EU sanctions against the Islamic Republic take effect.
The International Monetary Fund warned in March that if Iranian oil supplies are disrupted, crude prices may spike by up to 30 percent, sending shockwaves through the global economy.