The United States has granted exceptions from U.S. sanctions to seven emerging economies because they have significantly reduced their volumes of crude oil purchases from Iran. India, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan now join 10 European nations and Japan which were given exceptions from the sanctions earlier this year.
The sanctions, whose full authorities take effect on June 28, were put in place to cut off potential funding to Iran’s nuclear program from oil revenues. Countries that have not substantially cut back on oil from Iran by June 28 risk being cut off from the U.S. banking system.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement that the U.S “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. “By reducing Iran’s oil sales,” said Secretary Clinton, “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.”
Secretary Clinton emphasized that “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.” She noted that the next round of negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 -- the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany -- are set to take place in Moscow June 18 and 19.
“Iran,” Secretary of State Clinton said, “has the ability to address these concerns by taking concrete steps during the next round of talks. . .I urge its leaders to do so.”