US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has extended exemptions to India, China and seven other countries from the Iranian Sanctions Act mainly because of their significant reduction in oil imports from Iran.

The US and the international community remain committed to maintaining pressure on the Iranian regime until it fully addresses concerns about its nuclear programme, Clinton said in a statement on Friday.

“That’s why today I am pleased to announce that China, India, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan have again qualified for an exception to sanctions outlined in Section 1245 of the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012, based on additional reductions in the volume of their crude oil purchases from Iran,” she said.

As a result, Clinton said, she will report to the Congress that exceptions to sanctions under the Iranian Sanctions Act for certain transactions will apply to the financial institutions based in these countries for a potentially renewable period of 180 days.

This is for the second time that countries including India has received waiver from Clinton under the Iranian Sanctions Act.

Clinton said a total of 20 countries and economies have continued to significantly reduce the volume of their crude oil purchases from Iran.

According to the latest US Energy Information Administration report to Congress, Iran’s oil production fell by one million barrels per day in September and October 2012, compared to the same period in 2011.

“This has reduced Iran’s export volumes and oil revenues, which fund not only the nuclear programme but its support for terror and destabilising actions in the region.

The message to the Iranian regime from the international community is clear: take concrete actions to satisfy the concerns of the international community through negotiations with the P5+1, or face increasing isolation and pressure,” Clinton added.

(This article was published on December 8, 2012)
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