Iran has intensified pressure on the falling U.S. dollar by demanding that Japan begin paying for Iranian oil in yen, instead of dollars.

Hojjatollah Ghanimifard, the head of the National Iranian Oil Company, or NIOC, has confirmed the company has asked Japan to open letters of credit in yen in preparation for NOIC issuing oil invoices in Japanese currency.

In April, WND reported Iran successfully pressured China to begin paying for Iranian oil in euros, not dollars.

To date, Iran has not followed up on the announcement that Iran would create an Iranian oil bourse to quote oil in euros, instead of dollars.

Still, according to Hojjatollah Ghanimifard, 70 percent of Iran’s oil income is now paid in currencies other than the U.S. dollar.

Iran also has announced that the country will not participate in any OPEC move to increase oil production to counter rising oil prices.

Yesterday, crude oil prices rose to a record high $78 a barrel on international markets.

Iran’s continued switch from the dollar reflects its concern with the currency’s falling value along with a desire to counter the U.S.-backed sanctions imposed by the U.N. on Tehran for transparency violations in its nuclear program.

In July, the euro hit a historic low against the dollar.

As WND repeatedly has reported, Iran has frustrated the Bush administration’s strategy, resisting diplomatic approaches the U.S. has used with European nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency to induce Iran to quit enriching uranium.

Recent disclosures indicate Iran has made progress solving the technological problems of installing an estimated 3,500 centrifuges at its uranium enhancement nuclear facility in Isfahan.

Iran produces approximately 2.3 million barrels of crude oil per day, with approximately 65 percent of that volume headed for Asia, largely to China and Japan.


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