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Sat Dec 8, 2012 2:16AM
An Iranian oil tanker sailing in international waters (file photo)

An Iranian oil tanker sailing in international waters (file photo)

Nine countries have been granted extended waivers of the illegal US sanctions on Iran due to their reductions of purchases of Iranian crude oil. On Friday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton added China, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Taiwan to the list of countries exempt from the sanctions for another six months, the Associated Press reported. On September 14, the United States exempted Belgium, Britain, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and Japan from complying with the sanctions on Iran's oil industry for another 180 days. At the beginning of 2012, the US and the European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of 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 allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) 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 to nuclear weapons production. MHB/HGL
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