U.S. Exempts India, Six Others, From Iran Sanctions

Posted on: June 11, 2012 at 00:18
The United States said Monday it would exempt seven countries including India from tough new sanctions on their banking sector after they cut oil purchases from Iran.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton added India, Malaysia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan to countries exempt from the new sanctions. In March, she made exemptions for European Union nations and Japan.

However, the United States did not announce an immediate exemption for China -- another major importer of Iranian oil. A senior U.S. official said that Washington remained in talks with the growing Asian power over the sanctions.

The decision was announced two days before Clinton was to meet Indian officials for annual talks. Looming sanctions over Iran had cast a shadow over otherwise warming relations between India and the United States.

Under a law approved last year, the United States from June 28 will begin to penalize foreign financial institutions over transactions with Iran's central bank, which handles sales of the country's key export.

Clinton described the latest exemptions as proof that nations were cutting back their business with Iran, which Israel and some Western officials fear is seeking a nuclear weapon.

''Today's announcement underscores the success of our sanctions implementation,'' Clinton said in a statement.

''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.

The U.S. law had initially irritated some U.S. allies, fearing that cutting back oil from Iran would hurt their economies at a difficult time.

India said last month that it would cut its purchases of Iranian oil by 11 percent. The decrease is below that pledged by several other countries, but marked a change from New Delhi's initial protests that the law was unfair.

Clinton pressed India to cut back on Iranian oil during a visit last month.

Source:Agence France Presse
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