News / Middle East

    US Pressures Iran With More Sanctions Waivers

    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).
    THE WHITE HOUSE - The United States announced additional exceptions from U.S. financial sanctions on Iran Monday. These exemptions will go to countries that have significantly reduced their imports of Iranian oil.

    In a written statement, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made clear the latest exceptions are aimed at placing additional pressure on Iran's government to address global concerns about its nuclear program.

    The United States, European Union and other nations believe Iran's nuclear program is aimed at developing a nuclear weapon. Tehran says its activities are for peaceful civilian energy and medical purposes.

    The P5+1 group of nations - the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - are due to resume negotiations with Iran next week in Moscow.  

    Under Monday's announcement, six countries - India, Malaysia, South Korea, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Turkey - plus Taiwan are exempted from U.S. sanctions for having significantly reduced the volume of their crude oil purchases from Iran.

    Japan and 10 European Union nations received similar exemptions in March, and thus will also not be affected by U.S. sanctions that can be imposed beginning June 28. Under legislation Congress passed last year, exemptions last for 180 days and are renewable.

    Senior administration officials say the exemptions are part of a "steady and methodical phasing in" of sanctions targeting Iran's financial sector, including its central bank.

    Defense authorization legislation passed by Congress requires President Barack Obama to report to lawmakers every six months on how global oil supplies are being impacted by a reduction in crude oil from Iran.

    President Obama has made two determinations that the world market has a sufficient supply from countries other than Iran to permit a significant reduction in petroleum and products purchased from Iran by or through foreign financial institutions. Senior administration officials say the intensification of sanctions has had a significant impact on the Iranian government's ability to obtain revenue through petroleum sales.

    One official cited International Energy Agency figures that Iran's daily oil exports have declined over the last year by about 700,000 barrels - from 2.5 million barrels a day to between 1.2 million and 1.8 million barrels.

    China, whose cooperation with global pressure on Iran is crucial, has not been granted a waiver.  

    A senior administration official said discussions have continued with China, which he called a "very important partner" in the P5+1 process.

    The official said China has been committed to working to help prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. This includes Beijing's commitment to a dual-track approach of engagement and pressure.

    It would be "premature", the American official added, to comment on where discussions with China might lead.  The U.S. has informed China of the "scope and urgency" of provisions in U.S. legislation, and the senior official said the two sides continue to engage in a "good faith dialogue".

    In her written statement announcing the latest country exceptions, Secretary Clinton said they send "a decisive message" to Iran's leaders to take concrete actions to satisfy concerns of the international community or face increasing isolation and pressure.

    Clinton urged Iran to use the opportunity of next week's scheduled talks in Moscow with the P5+1 countries to address their concerns and act on them.

    You May Like

    Candidates' Comments Fly Like New Hampshire Snowflakes

    Four days ahead of the country's first-in-the-nation Republican and Democratic party primary elections, surveys show the parties' contests tightening

    Australian Commander: IS Changing Tactics

    Head of Australian forces in Middle East talks with VOA about training Iraqi troops, countering evolving Islamic State efforts and defeating extremism

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Michael from: USA
    June 13, 2012 10:13 AM
    The sanctions turn Iranian troubles into pathways in which they seek redress and explanations for their problems; The USA should invite Iran with the same custom as it ivites others

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.