News / Middle East

US Exempts China, Singapore From Iran Oil Sanctions

Iranian oil technician Majid Afshari makes his way at the oil separator facilities in Azadegan oil field, near Ahvaz, Iran (File).Iranian oil technician Majid Afshari makes his way at the oil separator facilities in Azadegan oil field, near Ahvaz, Iran (File).
x
Iranian oil technician Majid Afshari makes his way at the oil separator facilities in Azadegan oil field, near Ahvaz, Iran (File).
Iranian oil technician Majid Afshari makes his way at the oil separator facilities in Azadegan oil field, near Ahvaz, Iran (File).
Kent Klein
WHITE HOUSE -- The Obama administration has exempted China and Singapore from economic sanctions against countries that import oil from Iran.  The tougher U.S. sanctions took effect Thursday.
 
A statement from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says China and Singapore have significantly reduced their imports of Iranian oil.

As a result, banks in those two countries and 18 others will not be cut off from the U.S. financial system.

U.S. officials say China has cut its imports from Iran by one-fourth since January, and Singapore has committed to stop buying any Iranian oil.

The exemption is good for 180 days.

The Republican who leads the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee says the administration is giving China a "free pass."  Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Thursday called Beijing "Iran's biggest enabler."

Thursday was Washington's deadline for banks to stop processing petroleum transactions with Iran.  

The aim of the sanctions is to pressure Tehran to prove that it is not trying to develop nuclear weapons.  Iranian officials say their nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

The U.S. says Iran's oil exports have dropped sharply, and its currency is down by about 40 percent.  Senior administration officials project that cuts in oil exports will cost Iran about $8 billion.

Michael Adler, a public policy scholar at Washington's Wilson Center, says that while Iran’s economy is being hurt, he does not believe the sanctions will persuade the leaders in Tehran to give up their nuclear ambitions.

"They have large reserves of foreign currency," said Adler. "They are still earning about $44 billion a year, even with the lessened revenue, so Iran is standing tough for now."

Three rounds of recent negotiations between the P5+1 nations (United States, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia) and Iran did not lead to an agreement on Iran's nuclear program.

Adler says the failure of the third round of talks, held last week in Moscow, led the two sides to decide against another round of high-level talks.

"Moscow was the time for real talks to begin on the nuts and bolts of the proposal, and ironically, real talks did begin," he said. "They really did discuss the nuts and bolts.  But unfortunately, there was talk and no agreement.  There was engagement but there was no bargaining."

Nuclear experts from both sides will meet next Tuesday to discuss technical issues.

The European Union's embargo on Iranian oil will take effect on Sunday.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More