India and Others Receive Respite from Sanctions on Iran

US Secretary of State John Kerry with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

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Washington, DC – The United States has granted India and eight other countries an exemption from financial sanctions under the American Iran Sanctions Act for six months, for importing oil from Iran.

Explaining in a statement, US Secretary of State John Kerry said, “These additional reductions were determined based on an analysis of these economies’ purchasing activity over the previous six months.”

“I am pleased to announce that, based on additional significant reductions in the volume of their purchases of Iranian crude oil, China, India, the Republic of Korea, Turkey, and Taiwan have again qualified for an exception to sanctions outlined in Section 1245 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012,” said Kerry.

“Additionally, Malaysia, South Africa, Singapore, and Sri Lanka have also qualified again for the NDAA exception because they no longer purchase crude oil from Iran,” added Kerry.

This is the fourth time that these nine economies have qualified for an NDAA exception as a result of their continued significant reductions in the volume of crude oil purchases from Iran or their end to such purchases, noted the top US diplomat.

The waivers mean that financial institutions in the these countries do not risk being cut off from the US financial system for the next six months. It also comes on the heels of a new agreement between Western powers and Iran to streamline its nuclear program for peace.

Secretary Kerry said, “As part of the Joint Action Plan agreed to by the P5+1 and Iran, we will pause for six months our efforts to further reduce Iran’s crude oil sales,” cautioning, “As President Obama has made clear, the United States will continue to vigorously implement our existing sanctions on Iran as the P5+1 seeks to negotiate a comprehensive deal with Iran that will resolve the international community’s concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear program.”

Earlier on November 24, after four days of negotiations in Geneva, representatives of the P5+1 group of nations – the US, the UK, Russia, China, France and Germany – reached the agreement with Iran as Tehran agreed to curb some of its nuclear activities in return for approximately $7 billion in sanctions relief, a deal which will last for six months while a permanent agreement is sought.

World powers suspect Iran’s nuclear program has been secretly aimed at developing a nuclear bomb – a charge Iran has consistently denied.

“The effectiveness of the international sanctions regime has proven essential in bringing Iran to the table to negotiate and agree to the Joint Action Plan that, for the first time in nearly a decade, halts the progress of the Iranian nuclear program and rolls it back in key areas,” said Kerry, while exempting nine nations from the sanctions.

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