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US exempts nine countries from Iran oil sanctions

Following a landmark deal between world powers and Iran, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced Friday that Turkey, along with China, Taiwan, India and South Korea would be issued waivers from sanctions on Iranian oil imports as a result of their decreased reliance on Iranian crude.

“These additional reductions were determined based on an analysis of these economies’ purchasing activity over the previous six months,” said Kerry in a statement released to the press.

In addition to those five countries, Malaysia, South Africa, Singapore and Sri Lanka were also issued waivers, though they no longer purchase oil from the Islamic Republic.

This is the fourth such exemption that the nine countries have received. It will have to be renewed after 180 days.

According to Kerry, the US will continue to enforce current sanctions, though it will halt pushes for further limits on Iran's oil exports.

“As part of the Joint Action Plan agreed to by the P5+1 and Iran, we will pause for six months our efforts to further reduce Iran's crude oil sales. However, the Joint Action Plan does not offer relief from sanctions with respect to any increases in Iranian crude oil purchases by existing customers or any purchases by new customers,” said America’s top diplomat.

He added, “We will continue to aggressively enforce our sanctions over the next six months, as we work to determine whether there is a comprehensive solution that gives us confidence that the Iranian nuclear program is for exclusively peaceful purposes.”

According to the agreement reached by the P5+1 negotiating group and Iran in Geneva, Iran's oil exports will be kept to approximately 1 million barrels per day. Prior to US and European sanctions that took effect in 2012, Iran exported about 2.5 million barrels per day.

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