US clears India, South Korea, 5 others from Iran sanctions because they've cut oil imports

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration has cleared India, South Korea and five other governments from U.S. sanctions after they significantly reduced their imports of Iranian oil.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also said Malaysia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan won’t face U.S. penalties.

They join 11 countries that Clinton determined to have done enough to wean themselves off Iranian petroleum in March.

Clinton says in a statement the sanctions aim to “prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and to encourage Iran to comply with its international obligations.”

She says governments, by halting oil purchases, are sending a message to Iran’s leaders that until they come clean on their nuclear program, they’ll face further isolation and pressure.