New Pain for Iran: Japan Jumps Aboard Embargo

Meanwhile, the US sends two new aircraft carriers to the Arabian Sea
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2012 10:08 AM CST
New Pain for Iran: Japan Jumps Aboard Embargo
In this Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2000 file photo, an Iranian oil worker repairs a pipe at an oil refinery in Tehran, Iran.   (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

It looks like things are about to get a little bit more uncomfortable for Iran: Japan today agreed to align itself with Washington and reduce the amount of oil it imports from Iran. Japan is extremely dependent on foreign fuel, and currently gets about 10% of its oil from Iran; Japan's finance minister announced that it will take steps to begin "reducing this 10% share as soon as possible in a planned manner." The news comes on the heels of Timothy Geithner's arrival in Tokyo to push for such a promise; his attempts to get Beijing on board failed yesterday, reports the Los Angeles Times.

In other news out of the Middle East: A new US aircraft carrier sailed into the Arabian Sea yesterday, and another is en route. Still, the military denied that the moves had anything to do with Iran, reports Reuters. "I don't want to leave anybody with the impression that we're somehow (speeding) two carriers over there because we're concerned about what happened, you know, today in Iran. It's just not the case," said a Pentagon rep. The USS Carl Vinson took the place of the USS John C. Stennis; the USS Abraham Lincoln will soon join it. The military notes that it is "not unusual to have two carriers in the CENTCOM theater at the same time"; in the past 18 months, that has apparently been the case twice. (More Iran stories.)

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