Washington, June 11 (CNA) The United States will exempt seven economies, including Taiwan, from economic sanctions over Iran oil, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Monday.
In a statement released by the State Department, Clinton said India, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan will be exempted due to their significant reduction of oil imports from Iran.
The seven economies join 11 other countries, including Japan and some European countries, that were put on the exemption list in March.
To prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and to force itto comply with its international obligations, U.S. President Barack Obama signed a bill at the end of last year, expanding U.S. sanctions against Iran to cover its central bank and financial sector, a move that allows penalties on foreign banks that settle oil imports with the Iranian central bank.
The law, however, exempts firms from countries that significantly reduce their crude imports from Iran.
Taiwan has communicated with the United States through its representative office on the matter.
Iran is not a major source of oil imports, said related officials, who did not reveal the amount of Taiwan's reduction.
Presently, oil imports from Iran are estimated to account for only 4 percent of Taiwan's total oil imports.
(By Lin Shu-yuan and Lilian Wu)