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Daily Yomiuri Online: Inpex deal not end of the road


Inpex decided to reduce its interests in the development of Azadegan oil field [in Iran] --believed to have the largest reserves in the Middle East--from the current 75 percent to around 10 percent. The decision comes as a number of countries consider implementing economic sanctions on Iran as a means of pressuring it to suspend its uranium enrichment program.

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conforming to international pressure means that Japan has now been forced to give up most of its stake in a national project to develop its own source of oil--a goal it has been pursuing for many years.

... However, ... Katsujiro Kida, executive senior vice president of Inpex, was quick to insist that the decision was unrelated to the international situation.

"The reason is simply a delay in removing land mines," Kida said. "It was a business judgment made as a private company."

... Progress in Iran's removal of land mines in the Azadegan area was undercutting the main Japanese excuse for stalling.

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Observers also note that even if sanctions [against Iran] are averted, it would be difficult for Japan to go ahead with development as long as the United States maintains its hard-line stance toward Iran.

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If sanctions are put in place, China and India will also likely hesitate in developing oil fields in Iran. Oil industry experts therefore believe that Iran was pressing Japan for an early start to development to tie it into the project ahead of sanctions and prevent delays for other, similar projects.

With the Japanese side refusing to be hurried by Iran's repeated demands, the Iranians appear to have decided it was better to restart the negotiations with another party by recovering the Japanese stake, than continue with negotiations indefinitely.

Question for those more knowledgeable about these things:

If sanctions are put in place, China and India will also likely hesitate in developing oil fields in Iran.

And yet this article claims that

the Iranians appear to have decided it was better to restart the negotiations with another party by recovering the Japanese stake

But if the Chinese and Indians would "hesitate" to work with Iran, who else would be a candidate for this "another party"?

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Sun Oct 8th, 2006 at 01:16:15 AM EST
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