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U.S. exempts seven countries from Iran sanctions

BY GREG ROBB

WASHINGTON D.C. -- The State Department will exempt seven more countries from financial sanctions after they agreed to cut their imports of Iranian oil, White House officials said Monday. Under the actions the following countries will be exempt from the sanctions for six months: India, Malaysia, South Korea, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Turkey. Without the exemptions, banks in these countries could have faced the threat of being cut off from the U.S. financial system if they did business with Iran' s central bank, a conduit for the country' s oil sales. The sanctions are set to go into place on June 28.

In March, the U.S. exempted Japan and a number of European countries from the sanctions. Western countries are using the possibility of an oil embargo to try to force Iran to accept limits on its nuclear program. The U.S. says that Iran' s oil imports have been cut by 700,000 barrels per day from year-ago levels as a result of the move towards an embargo. The White House also reaffirmed a finding that there is a sufficient supply of non-Iranian oil to permit foreign countries to reduce their imports of Iranian oil.

The U.S. is in talks with China about limiting its imports of Iranian crude oil, officials said.

Dow Jones Newswires

06/12/2012

 

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