WASHINGTON: The United States has announced that seven countries including India will not face sanctions as they have reduced purchases of crude oil from Iran. A source said that Pakistan, at the moment, is not subject to these sanctions.
According to a statement issued by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, India, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan have significantly reduced their crude oil purchases from Iran, and hence will not face sanctions for 180 days, subject to renewal of imports.
The sanctions are part of the National Defence Authorisation Act 2012, according to which the United States may impose sanctions on countries that are purchasing petroleum products from Iran. The act provides a window of 180 days from the time of passing the Act for countries named to reduce their crude imports. Additionally, if the President determines that countries can reduce their purchases and purchase crude oil from other countries, they will be exempted from the sanctions.
The President announced on Monday, “there is a sufficient supply of petroleum and petroleum products from countries other than Iran to permit a significant reduction in the volume of petroleum and petroleum products purchased from Iran by or through foreign financial institutions.”
Speaking on condition of anonymity to the press, senior US administration officials said that the countries that may or may not be subject to sanctions can change after the law passes. “The portion of the sanctions that come into effect on or after June 28 is for conducting significant transactions after that date.”
An official said that it was premature to talk about which countries may face sanctions. But, maintained that Pakistan was currently below the other seven economies in the amount of Iranian oil purchased.
Pakistan though could face the sanctions in view of deals currently in the works including a $1trillion gas pipeline
In March, a State Department official told the press that the sanctions are “against any transactions with the Central Bank of Iran by any financial institution, whether it’s private or public, related to the purchase of petroleum or petroleum products for Iran.” In March, Secretary Clinton had announced a list of eleven countries that had reduced their crude oil purchases and would not face sanctions.
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