|Waivers on Iran sanctions extended for 10 EU states, Japan||
The United States extended 180-day waivers on Iran sanctions to Japan and 10 European Union nations in exchange for their cutting purchases of the OPEC nation's crude oil, Reuters quoted Secretary of State John Kerry as saying on Wednesday.
Renewal of the waivers, known as exceptions, means that banks in the 11 countries have been given a third consecutive 180-day reprieve from the threat of being cut off from the U.S. financial system under the sanctions.
The EU implemented a full embargo on Iranian crude and petroleum products on July 1. The 10 EU countries that were granted the renewals on Wednesday are Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
Under the sanctions law U.S. President Barack Obama signed in 2011, the State Department must review the waivers every six months. All 20 of Iran's major buyers of crude were given the waivers last year.
The State Department extended the exceptions to China, India, and a number of other countries on December 7.
The latest U.S. sanctions on Iran, which took effect on February 6, shackle payments for Iranian oil in accounts in consumer countries.
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