Major Asian buyers of Iranian crude oil are looking for ways to continue oil imports from the Islamic Republic without reprisal from US authorities. Indian and South Korean officials said they are expecting their exemptions from US sanctions on Iran to be extended for another six months, Reuters reported Friday.
China - the top importer of the Iranian oil and the Islamic Republic's largest business partner - is also looking for a further exemption to help its main state-run oil buyers import crude oil from Iran.The United States is going to decide early in December whether to extend the waivers. In early 2012, the United States and the European Union (EU) imposed new sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors. On October 15, the EU foreign ministers agreed on another round of sanctions against Iran. The illegal US-engineered sanctions were imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that Iran's civilian nuclear program has been diverted toward military objectives. MP/HGH/SS