Asian refiners eager to resume Iranian oil imports

TEHRAN, Feb. 18 (MNA) – Western media reported that Asian refiners, traditionally big buyers of Iranian oil, are keen to resume imports from Iran if there is an agreement to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

Most Asian buyers halted Iranian oil imports in 2019 after former US President Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran's oil exports, Reuters reported.

Indirect talks between Iran and the United States on the nuclear deal resumed last week. Western diplomats have indicated they hoped to have a breakthrough by now, but tough issues remain unresolved. 

With the prospect of a new Iran deal, South Korea, previously one of Tehran's leading oil customers in Asia, said on Wednesday it had held working-level talks on resuming imports of Iranian crude oil and unfreezing Iranian funds.

"As long as the two countries decide to resume oil trade, we can purchase crude from Iran," this source said.

"Since we've previously used crude oil from Iran, we don't need to test the oil at our facilities," he added.

Japan's top refiner Eneos Holdings Inc will consider resuming oil imports from Iran if an agreement to revive a 2015 nuclear deal is reached, its chairman said on Thursday.

A refiner from India, Iran's No. 2 customer, is also in talks with Iran for sourcing its oil, an Indian refining source said, adding that it was also waiting for more clarity on the nuclear deal. 

Iran has kept some exports flowing despite sanctions as intermediaries find ways to disguise the origins of the imports and China, Iran's biggest customer, has been a big destination.

MP/PR

News Code 184025

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