Washington, (IANS) The US will exempt seven economies, including India and Sri Lanka from sanctions, as a result of their significant reduction of oil purchase from Iran, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced.
In a statement released by the State Department, Clinton said the seven economies are India, Malaysia, South Korea, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan, Xinhua reported.
She said the decision was made because they “have all significantly reduced their volume of crude oil purchases from Iran”.
These economies will join 11 countries, including Japan, that were put on the exemption list in March.
Clinton said the sanctions seek to prevent Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
US President Barack Obama signed a bill at the end of last year, expanding US sanctions against Iran to cover its central bank and financial sector, a move that allows penalties on foreign banks that settle oil imports with the Iranian central bank.
The law, however, offers waivers to firms from countries that significantly reduce their crude imports from Iran.
“Today’s announcement underscores the success of our sanctions implementation,” said Clinton.
“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.
She reiterated US commitment to a “dual-track policy” which uses both channels of diplomacy and sanctions to deal with Iran.
“Iran has the ability to address these concerns by taking concrete steps during the next round of talks in Moscow,” Clinton said, referring to the new round of nuclear talks between Iran and the six world powers — Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany — scheduled to take place June 18-19.