More countries reduce Iran oil purchases ahead of US sanctions
June 11th, 2012
06:54 PM ET

More countries reduce Iran oil purchases ahead of US sanctions

By Pam Benson

An additional six countries and Taiwan have significantly reduced their imports of Iranian crude oil and will not face tough sanctions from the United States, according to a statement released Monday by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

India, Malaysia, South Korea, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan now join 11 other countries that have met requirements set by U.S. law to reduce oil purchases from Iran to avoid a cutoff in access to the U.S. financial system.

Japan and 10 countries from the European Union secured waivers from U.S. sanctions in March.

"By reducing Iran's oil sales, we are sending a decisive message to Iran's leaders: until they take concrete actions to satisfy the concerns of the international community, they will continue to face increasing isolation and pressure," Clinton said in a statement.

The American sanctions target any transactions of Iranian oil processed through Iran's central bank. The sanctions would go into effect on June 28.

Conspicuously missing from the list is China, one of the largest importers of Iranian oil products.

In a briefing for reporters, a senior U.S. administration official touted constructive dialogue with China on Iran sanctions and said it would be premature to comment on ongoing discussions with China.

"We may have different perceptions of sanctions at different times, but one of the things that has been very important is that China has agreed to this dual track process of pressure as well as persuasion," said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Earlier this year, China reduced its purchases by as much as 50%, but that decision was driven mostly by a pricing dispute over existing contracts China had with Iran.

China has said it does not support the U.S. sanctions and has not asked for a waiver.

According to International Atomic Energy Agency figures cited by the U.S. administration official, the sanctions have had an impact on Iran oil exports.

In 2011, Iran exported approximately 2.5 million barrels of oil a day. Current estimates show a drop to between 1.2 million and 1.8 million barrels a day.

"You have from Europe to Asia to South Asia, a very significant number of major economies that are allowing us to heighten the pressure on the Iranian government and to sharpen the choice to the Iranian government that as their chief revenue source continues to be dried up through this international action, they can continue down the path of growing economic impact and international isolation, or they can shift course and come in line with their obligations," the U.S. official said.

The so called P5+1 group of the United States, Russia, China, France, Great Britain and Germany are scheduled to meet with Iranian officials in Moscow on June 18. Those who follow the talks are skeptical that there will be any breakthrough that will lead to Iran changing it's nuclear ambitions and preventing additional sanctions from going into effect. Besides the U.S. sanctions, the European Union will impose a full embargo on all Iranian oil as of July first.

CNN's Jamie Crawford contributed to this story.

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Filed under: Clinton • economy • Energy • Europe • IAEA • IAEA • Iran • Nuclear • State Department
soundoff (10 Responses)
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    India is playing a double game with Americans in Iran as the article rightly points out. We are also aware of the other dirty games India is playing in the region...financing terrorists who are killing US/NATO/Pakistani troops ....undermining democracies, paying off some factions of talibans protection money so they won't do another Mumbai attack. India may pretend to drape itself in an American flag but it will never fool the world that the biggest threat to American interests in Asia and Middle East is India and their obsolete policies.

    June 27, 2012 at 11:11 am | Reply
  2. Henry Gomez

    Nice one thank you for posting

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    June 12, 2012 at 6:22 am | Reply
  3. jr

    India is playing a double game with Americans in Iran as the article rightly points out. We are also aware of the other dirty games India is playing in the region...financing terrorists who are killing US/NATO/Pakistani troops ....undermining democracies, paying off some factions of talibans protection money so they won't do another Mumbai attack. India may pretend to drape itself in an American flag but it will never fool the world that the biggest threat to American interests in Asia and Middle East is India and their obsolete policies.

    June 11, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Reply
  4. Thor

    This is the result of treacherous maneuvering by the Israel Lobby, and the Evangelist churches supporting them.

    Israel must be held accountable for the war they are trying so hard to initiate.

    It's time to reject apartheid zeal, in favor of reason.

    http://www.nkusa.org/activities/Statements/20090102.cfm

    June 11, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Reply
    • Tinfoil hat

      I agree Thor, but you forgot the collusion with intro-dimensianal ALIENS! Isreal is just a front for the invasion force, they communicate using those little "beanies" they wear. If you read the Talmud while tripping LSD and giving yourself electric shocks in the testicles you can find there secret plan!

      June 12, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Reply

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