May 18, 2012 / 8:13 PM / in 6 years

Japan looks to central bank to pay for Iran oil: Nikkei

(Reuters) - The Japanese government and private sector bank officials are considering asking the Bank of Japan (BOJ) for help in settling Iranian oil transactions, the Nikkei reported.

People walk out from the Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo May 7, 2012. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, which handles most of Japan’s payments for oil imports from Iran, on Thursday said it had frozen transactions with Iranian banks after being ordered to do so by the New York District Court earlier this month.

The move stems from a U.S. court decision in 2007 that ordered Iran to pay more than $2.6 billion to survivors and victims’ family members of the 1983 bombing of a U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon, a bank spokesman had said.

The BOJ can offer a solution to the worries as foreign banks can open accounts at the bank for managing and raising yen assets, the Japanese daily said.

However, acceptance by the United States, which has sought to block Iran’s access to international financial transactions in a bid to discourage Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, will be essential, the daily said.

Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel

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