The United States is pushing for Japan and other major economies to halt imports of Iranian crude oil by November as part of coordinated sanctions on the Islamic republic, a senior U.S. State Department official said Tuesday in Washington.

The new hard-line U.S. policy may deal a significant blow to the growing government and business ties between Tokyo and Tehran, something that Japan has been working hard to build since the lifting of economic sanctions in 2016 against Iran.

"Japanese companies were beginning to look toward Iran as an attractive investment destination," according to Mitsuo Fujiyama, a senior economist at the Japan Research Institute Ltd.