The Obama administration is extending waivers on U.S. sanctions it has granted to major Asian petroleum consumers, including China, India and South Korea, for reducing their imports of Iranian oil.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the extensions in a statement on Friday.
In addition to China, India and South Korea, the waivers will apply to Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan. All nine were originally granted six-month renewable exemptions from the sanctions in June.
The exemption means that banks and other financial institutions based in those places will not be hit with penalties under U.S. law enacted as a way of pressuring Iran to come clean about its nuclear program.