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Japan inks major oil deal with Iran

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  • Japan inks major oil deal with Iran

    Japan, overriding U.S. opposition, plans to develop an Iranian oil field that contains estimated reserves of 26 billion barrels.

    A Japanese consortium supported by the government in Tokyo said it will develop an Iranian oil field at Azadegan in a $2 billion deal. Under the accord, the Japanese consortium would obtain a 75 percent stake. Iran's state-owned oil company was given the remaining interest, Middle East Newsline reported. The field was expected to begin oil production in mid-2007.

    U.S. officials said they were informed of the Japanese deal with Iran earlier this week. They said the Japanese project would bolster the Iranian regime at a time when it is pursuing nuclear weapons.

    "Our policy has been, with respect to Iran, to oppose petroleum investment there," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said. "We remain deeply concerned about deals such as this."


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