The United States has exempted financial institutions of China and Singapore from sanctions for 180 days for having significantly reduced their volume of crude oil purchases from Iran.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Thursday that she would report the decision to the Congress.
With this, a total of 20 world economies have now qualified for such an exception from sanctions under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012.
Their cumulative actions are a clear demonstration to the Iranian government that Iran's continued violation of its international nuclear obligations carries an enormous economic cost, Clinton said.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), Iran's crude oil exports in 2011 were approximately 2.5 million barrels per day, and have dropped to roughly 1.5 million barrels per day, which in real terms means almost $8 billion in lost revenues every quarter. "When the European Union oil embargo goes into effect on July 1, Iran's leaders will understand even more fully the urgency of the choice they face and the unity of the international community," she added.
Following the U.S. President's determinations on March 30 and June 11 on the availability of non-Iranian supplies of oil, 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.
Clinton called on Iran to demonstrate its willingness to take concrete steps toward resolving the nuclear issue during the expert-level talks scheduled in Istanbul on July 3. Failure to do so will result in continuing pressure and isolation from the international community, she warned. The top U.S. diplomat reminded Iran's leaders that they have the opportunity to address international concerns by engaging seriously and substantively in negotiations with the P5+1.
Addressing a news conference in Latvian capital Riga with her Latvian counterpart Edgars Rinkevics, Clinton said that "globally, our work with our allies and partners around the world to implement these sanctions is paying enormous dividends." She told reporters that Iran's oil exports are "continuing to go down, and it will go down, we think, quite significantly as the additional EU and U.S. sanctions are implemented."
"And of course, this is all for the purpose of persuading the Iranians to negotiate sincerely with the P-5+1 over the international community's concerns regarding their nuclear program, and we're going to continue to both make the case and put on the pressure in order to reach a diplomatic resolution," Clinton added.
by RTT Staff Writer
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