10 EU states, Japan exempted from Iran oil bans

10 EU states, Japan exempted from Iran oil bans
Sat Sep 7, 2013 09:00:26

US-led sanctions against Iran have been eased for 10 European countries and Japan to purchase oil from the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Japan continues to import oil from Iran but all European Union countries halted the purchase a year ago.

The Obama administration has been forced to grant exemptions to a number of mostly Asian countries that rely on Iranian oil on condition that they significantly reduce their imports over time.

The entire European Union has not purchased Iranian oil since July 1, 2012, the US State Department said in a statement.

Because of that reduction, the US said 10 EU countries had qualified for six-month sanctions exemptions: Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Britain.

China remains Iran's top trading partner and its No. 1 client for oil exports, with Japan, India and South Korea among other top purchasers.

Despite plummeting sales overseas, Iran remains one of the world's largest oil producers. Its exports bring in tens of billions of dollars in revenue for the country, money the US is trying to cut off.

Economists said Iran is also finding ways to work around sanctions, for example by increasing exports of non-oil, non-sanctioned goods.

An EU court said it would throw out penalties imposed on eight Iranian banks and businesses for their alleged ties to Iran's nuclear program because there wasn't sufficient evidence to justify the sanctions imposed by the bloc.

The United States, Israel and some of their allies falsely claim that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program, with the US and the European Union using the unfounded allegation as a pretext to impose illegal sanctions on Iran.

Tehran strongly rejects the claim, maintaining that as a committed signatory to the NPT and a member of the IAEA, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Meanwhile, numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities by the IAEA have never found any evidence showing that the Iranian nuclear energy program has been diverted toward non-civilian purposes.


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