US extends exemptions for India,China to Iran oil sanctions

US extends exemptions for India,China to Iran oil sanctions

US extends exemptions for India,China to Iran oil sanctions

The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has extended exemptions to India, China and seven other countries from Iranian Sanctions Act mainly because of their significant reduction in oil import 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 program, Clinton said in a statement yesterday.

"That's why today I am pleased to announce that China, India, Malaysia, 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 program 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.

Meanwhile the US President, Barack Obama, in a presidential determination determined that there currently appears to be sufficient supply of non-Iranian oil to permit foreign countries to significantly reduce their import of Iranian oil, taking into account current estimates of demand, increased production by countries other than Iran, inventories of crude oil and petroleum products, and available strategic petroleum reserves.

"In this context, it is notable that many purchasers of Iranian crude oil have reduced their purchases or announced they are in productive discussions with alternative suppliers," the White House said in a statement.

Referring to the Energy Information Administration's report of October 25, 2012, the White House said this indicates that although production disruptions continue to remove some oil from the market and the international response to concerns about Iran's nuclear activities may have increased demand for non-Iranian crude oil, production increases in other countries and weaker demand growth overall have mitigated oil market tightness to a degree.