The request made by the National Iranian Oil Co. is believed to be part of Iran's efforts to increase oil transactions denominated in currencies other than the dollar in order to avoid a possible seizure of its assets by the U.S. government amid tensions over Iran's nuclear development program.
The Iranian state-owned oil company sent letters to Japanese oil wholesalers requesting them to pay in yen, the sources said, adding some companies received such requests through trading houses.
"We have yet to decide how to respond," said an official at a Japanese oil wholesaler. "We cannot find any advantage in switching to yen- based transactions."
Late last year, Iran sounded out Japanese oil firms about switching their payments to the yen or the euro, the sources said.
In 2006, Japan imported about 28 million kiloliters of crude oil from Iran, which accounted for about 11 percent of Japan's total oil imports.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Temmuz 2007, 09:18