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US exempts 7 nations from sanctions for reducing Iranian crude oil imports
12 jun 2012
The United States has announced that seven countries will not face sanctions for purchasing Iranian crude oil, as they have significantly reduced their purchases. These countries include India, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan. Pakistan, the country which the U.S. has not had good relations with lately, is not included in the list, but due to already low purchases of Iranian oil, cannot face sanctions. The seven countries have been awarded concession for the next 180 days, but the relief will be annulled if these countries renew oil imports from Iran. The sanctions are part of the National Defense Authorization Act 2012. The act allows the United States to impose sanctions on countries that continue purchasing petroleum products from Iran.

President Barack Obama said on Monday that sufficient supply of petroleum products was available in the market and hence there was no need to import crude oil from Iran. The United States has convinced Saudi Arabia and other gulf countries to enhance supply of petroleum products in the market to avoid a shortage of the oil or price hike. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, during her visit to India last month, also urged the international community to suspend crude oil imports from Iran. The secretary said this was the only way to bring Iran to the negotiating table.

The United States has already slapped tough sanctions on Central Bank of Iran and plans to cripple the economy of the country. On the other hand, analysts and discerning observers believe that Iran is looking for businessmen to purchase the country’s petroleum products and sell them in the black markets. Also, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad has repeatedly said that the sanctions would have little effect on Iran's economy, as the country has got multiple other resources to fulfill needs of its people. Israel and the United States suspect that Iran is covertly pursuing nuclear weapons.

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