East Asian imports of Iranian oil in the first eight months of 2015 were down year-on-year, as Iran’s four biggest buyers all resisted the temptation to boost intakes to take advantage of the improved diplomatic atmosphere created by the nuclear talks between Iran and the international community.

Iran’s key energy and banking sectors have been under harsh US, EU and UN sanctions for the best part of the last decade over the country’s much-disputed nuclear program – one which the US and its allies fear is being targeted towards developing nuclear arms. But a positive conclusion to the marathon talks in mid-July has set the stage for a lifting of sanctions on Iran’s energy sector, and a significant boost in its crude sales by as early as next year. (CONTINUED - 482 WORDS)