US extends Iran oil sanctions waivers

The United States says it will extend Iran�™s oil sanctions exceptions for China, India, South Korea and six other countries because they cut back on Iranian crude.

“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,” US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement on Friday.

Malaysia, South Africa, Singapore, and Sri Lanka have qualified again for the exception “because they no longer purchase crude oil from Iran,” according to the statement.

The abovementioned states would be allowed to keep purchasing reduced amounts of Iranian crude oil for the next 180 days without any penalties from the US.

The Obama administration has not relaxed existing sanctions against Iran although Iran and six major powers reached a historic interim nuclear agreement in Geneva on November 24.

Under a 2012 law, Washington forced nations to stop buying Iranian oil or face sanctions based on allegations that Tehran�™s nuclear program is not peaceful. However, the law allows the US to grant waivers to countries that reduce their purchases.

Kerry also said his country will continue to enforce its oil sanctions during the next six months.

“We will continue to aggressively enforce our sanctions over the next six months, as we work to determine whether there is a comprehensive solution that gives us confidence that the Iranian nuclear program is for exclusively peaceful purposes,” he said.

This is while US President Barack Obama defended the six-month accord with Iran.

�œWe cannot close the door on diplomacy,” Obama said. “We cannot commit ourselves to an endless cycle of conflict, and tough talk and bluster may be the easy thing to do politically, but it’s not the right thing for our security.”

AGB/AGB

Source: Press TV