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Asian imports of Iranian oil balloon ahead of full US ban

Beijing expected to battle Washington over Iran sanctions as waivers end

Iranian oil exports to four Asian countries including China jumped 36% in March.   © Reuters

TEHRAN/WASHINGTON -- Asian countries are rushing ahead with purchases of Iranian oil before the U.S. demands full compliance with its sanctions against the Middle Eastern nation this week.

Four Asian countries imported a combined 1.57 million barrels of Iranian crude oil per day in March, Reuters reported Tuesday, up 36% from the previous month. Shipments to Japan, China, South Korea and India soared to a level last seen in July. In contrast, their volume for the entire first quarter dropped 31% from a year earlier.

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