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US exempts India, six others from Iran sanctions

Washington: The US today said it would exempt India and six other countries from financial sanctions because they have significantly cut purchases of Iranian oil.

"Today I have made the determination that seven economiesIndia, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan–have all significantly reduced their volume of crude oil purchases from Iran," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement.

Clinton said exemptions would also be granted to South Korea, Turkey, Malaysia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Taiwan, which join Japan and a number of European countries already on the list of those exempted from Iran sanctions act that kicks into force later this month.

Clinton issued the statement in this regard hours before External Affairs Minister S M Krishna was to arrive in Washington to co-chair the third India-US Strategic Dialogue along with his American counterpart.

In her statement, Clinton said as a result of her determination, she will report to the Congress that relevant sanctions will not apply to financial institutions of these countries.

"We have implemented these sanctions to support our efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and to encourage Iran to comply with its international obligations," she said.

"Today`s announcement underscores the success of our sanctions implementation. By reducing Iran`s oil sales, we are sending a decisive message to Irans leaders: until they take concrete actions to satisfy the concerns of the international community, they will continue to face increasing isolation and pressure," Clinton said.

The US remains committed to a dual-track policy that offers Iran the chance to engage seriously with the international community to resolve our concerns over its nuclear programme through negotiations with the P5+1, she said.

"Iran has the ability to address these concerns by taking concrete steps during the next round of talks in Moscow. I urge its leaders to do so," Clinton said.

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