United States Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Wednesday that Japan, along with 10 nations from the European Union, had been granted 180-day waivers on Iran sanctions in exchange for their continued efforts to work towards zero purchases of oil from the Middle Eastern country. Kerry commented that the decision was made as the international community is committed to convincing Iran to abandon its nuclear program, which the U.S. believes is being used to develop weapons.
This is the third extension of the waivers for Japan and the other countries, allowing their banks a 6-month reprieve from the sanctions’ threat of being cut off the from the U.S.’s financial system. Japan was praised for while it is the world’s third-largest oil consumer, and its total imports of the fuel rose by 2.7% in 2012, the country still managed to reduce its purchases from Iran by 40% last year, down to about 190,000 barrels per day.
While the EU put a full embargo on Iranian oil into effect on July 1st last year, the 10 nations that were given waiver extensions on financial transactions were Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Iran’s exports were cut by half in 2012 as a result of the international sanctions, denying the Tehran government billions of dollar in revenue. Secretary of State Kerry said that the international community is working hard to make the message to Iran clear, that it needs to take action to address the security concerns of others or face continued pressure and isolation.
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