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US set to extend waivers on Iran oil sanctions

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 6, 2012 at 2:50 pm •  Published: December 6, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is set to extend waivers of U.S. sanctions it has granted to major Asian petroleum consumers, including China, India and South Korea, for reducing their imports of Iranian oil, officials said Thursday.

Two officials said an announcement of the six-month extensions was expected from the State Department on Friday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly preview the step.

In addition to China, India and South Korea, the waivers will apply to Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan. All nine were originally granted six-month renewable exemptions from the sanctions in June.

The exemption means that banks and other financial institutions based in those places will not be hit with penalties under U.S. law enacted as a way of pressuring Iran to come clean about its nuclear program.

A total of 20 countries and Taiwan have been granted the waivers. The others — Belgium, Britain, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Japan — will come up for review in March.

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