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U.S. exempts China, Singapore from Iran sanctions

(Xinhua)

08:31, June 29, 2012

WASHINGTON, June 28 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday announced Washington's decision to exempt China and Singapore from sanctions over imports of Iranian oil, citing their "significant" reduction of purchases from the Islamic republic.

"Today I have made the determination that two additional countries, China and Singapore, have significantly reduced their volume of crude oil purchases from Iran," the top U.S. envoy said in a written statement.

She said as a result, financial institutions in the two Asian countries will be eligible for exemptions from U.S. sanctions for a renewable period of 180 days.

Under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) signed by U. S. President Barack Obama late last year, foreign financial institutions, whose governments still purchase Iranian crude oil as of June 28, will be denied access to the U.S. financial market.

"Today marks an important milestone in the implementation of the NDAA and U.S. sanctions toward Iran," Clinton remarked. " Following the president's determinations on March 30 and June 11 on the availability of non-Iranian supplies of oil, as of today, any foreign financial institution based in a country that has not received an NDAA exception is subject to U.S. sanctions if it knowingly conducts a significant transaction with the Central Bank of Iran for the sale or purchase of petroleum or petroleum products to or from Iran."

A total of 20 economies, including Japan, India, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Taiwan and 10 European countries, have got the U.S. waiver.

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