Summary Box: Japan And Iran Oil Is Internal Affair

By Salon Staff

Published January 9, 2012 4:18PM (EST)

IT'S UP TO THEM: A Saudi oil official said that whether Japan or other countries continue to buy Iranian oil was an "internal matter," reflecting the unease in many nations after the latest U.S. sanctions on Tehran and Iran's threats to choke off the Strait of Hormuz in response.

JAPAN WORRIES: A Saudi newspaper said that Japanese officials asked Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, to make up for the potential loss of Iranian oil for Japan. The Asian nation is now even more heavily dependent on oil and natural gas imports after last year's tsunami forced the shutdown of nuclear reactors.

HOT AIR? Iran has said that it might block the Strait of Hormuz, through which about a sixth of the world's oil flows, if the U.S. and its allies impose measures targeting its oil exports. Many analysts and officials have played down the comments as bluster by the Islamic Republic, noting that such a move would hit Iran hard given that it receives over 80 percent of its government revenue from oil sales.

Salon Staff

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