Japan and 10 European countries have been exempted by the U.S. from financial sanctions over oil imports from Iran, a nation which is still suspected of nuclear activities.
The announcement was made by the secretary of state Hillary Clinton and the reason for the exemptions is that the countries have reduced significantly their oil imports from Iran. The 10 European countries are Belgium, Britain, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain.
Hillary Clinton mentioned especially Japan, which deserves appreciation for reducing imports despite “the extraordinary energy and other challenges it has faced over the past year.”
According to an American State Department member, Japan reduced oil imports from Iran by 15 to 22 percent in the second half of last year.
Japanese banks on Wednesday welcomed the news that the U.S. would exempt Japan from financial sanctions, Kyodo reports. The banks were facing the risk of having to interrupt their business relationships with American banks for as long as sanctions would have been in place.