TOKYO – TOKYO (AP) — Japan approved fresh economic sanctions against Iran on Friday after the United Nations asked Tokyo to tighten restrictions against Tehran over its controversial nuclear enrichment program, an official said.
The measures approved by the Cabinet of Prime Minister Naoto Kan include an asset freeze on 88 entities, 15 banks and 24 individuals, trade ministry official Hideaki Fujisawa said. Japan had previously frozen assets on 75 entities and 41 individuals.
The individuals are also banned from entering Japan, Fujisawa said.
The United Nations approved a fourth round of sanctions against Iran in early June over accusations that Tehran is seeking to develop atomic weapons. Iran denies its nuclear program is militaristic in nature and says it has a right to conduct uranium enrichment for peaceful purposes.
Along with the U.N., the United States and European Union recently imposed separate penalties against Iran. Washington welcomed Japan's move on Friday, saying it would deepen Iran's isolation and recognizing that it was not without cost.
Japan's latest sanctions came after the United Nations asked Tokyo to take punitive measures against Iran, Fujisawa said.
While Japan's new sanctions called for tighter supervision of bilateral financial transactions, the measures stopped short of curtailing Japan's crude oil imports from Iran. Iran is the third-biggest crude oil supplier to Japan.