US praises Japanese company withdrawing from Iran

WASHINGTON — The United States is praising Japan's largest energy explorer for withdrawing from an oil field project in Iran.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said in a statement Friday that Inpex and others are sending a powerful signal that Iran "should meet its international obligations and begin to engage seriously on its nuclear program."
Inpex gave no reason Friday for pulling out of the Azadegan oil field in southwestern Iran.
News reports said it was to avoid US sanctions targeting firms doing business in Iran. Inpex has a 10 percent stake in the project.
Inpex said it had consulted with the Japanese government over the decision to quit the Iranian oil project. The government owns a 19 percent stake in Inpex.