- Published on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 09:54
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The Obama administration on Monday has exempted Sri Lanka India and five other nations from U.S. economic sanctions after they significantly reduced their imports of Iranian oil.
Washington Post reports that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also granted waivers to Malaysia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Taiwan, meaning that banks and other financial institutions based there won’t be hit with penalties under U.S. law for a renewable 180-day period.
They join 11 countries — Belgium, Britain, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Japan — that Clinton in March determined had done enough to wean themselves from Iranian petroleum. Of major importers of Iranian oil, only China now remains without a U.S. waiver. It has until June 28 to reduce its consumption of Iranian oil or face the penalties unless it receives a national security waiver.
Clinton said in a statement that the exemptions are proof that sanctions aimed at pressuring Iran to come clean about its nuclear program are working.
“Today’s announcement underscores the success of our sanctions implementation,” she 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.”
Clinton urged Iranian leaders to address the nuclear concerns quickly, and pointed to an upcoming meeting in Moscow, with negotiators from Iran and world powers, as an ideal opportunity to do so.
U.S. officials said Iran’s oil exports have declined from about 2.5 million barrels a day last year to between 1.2 and 1.8 million barrels a day, choking a key source of revenue for the regime which remains defiant of international demands to prove that its nuclear program is peaceful.