US exempts nations from Iran sanctions

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday that the United States will exempt India, South Korea and five other nations from sanctions targeting Iranian oil exports because the nations have “significantly reduced their volume of crude oil purchases from Iran.”

Clinton said the countries, for at least 180 days, won’t be hit with sanctions that target banks in nations that purchase Iranian oil.

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She announced the waivers — which are also being granted to Malaysia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan — in a statement that claimed progress in efforts to isolate Iran over its nuclear program.

“We have implemented these sanctions to support our efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and to encourage Iran to comply with its international obligations. Today’s announcement underscores the success of our sanctions implementation,” Clinton said.

“By reducing Iran’s oil sales, we are sending a decisive message to Iran’s leaders: until they take concrete actions to satisfy the concerns of the international community, they will continue to face increasing isolation and pressure,” she said in announcing the waiver from sanctions that go into effect June 28.

China is now the only major purchaser of Iranian oil that remains without a waiver, according to The Associated Press.

Clinton previously announced in March that Japan and 10 European nations would receive exemptions because they had “significantly reduced” the volume of their crude purchases from Iran.

The new waivers arrive on the same day that the White House made a formal determination that global oil markets can handle expanded sanctions against Iran.

Clinton urged Iran to address concerns about its nuclear programs in upcoming multilateral talks.

"The United States remains committed to a dual-track policy that offers Iran the chance to engage seriously with the international community to resolve our concerns over its nuclear program through negotiations with the P5+1. Iran has the ability to address these concerns by taking concrete steps during the next round of talks in Moscow. I urge its leaders to do so," she said in a statement.

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