Japan bends to US on Iranian sanctions

Japan agreed in principle Thursday to join the United States in imposing economic sanctions against Iran, but sought American assurance of oil supplies to counter the Iranian threat to retaliate by cutting off shipments. Japan also wants to go ahead with a joint Japanese-Iranian petrochemical project despite the sanctions, which are aimed at forcing the release of the American hostages in Tehran, government officials said.

The officials said the agreement came at a one-hour, 15-minute meeting between Philip C. Habib, a senior adviser to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, and Acting Foreign Minister Masayoshi Itoh, in which Mr. Habib called on Japan to join the US in the sanctions against Iran.

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