The United States and the international community remain committed to maintaining pressure on the Iranian Government until it fully addresses concerns about its nuclear program. That is why today I am pleased to announce that, based on additional significant reductions in the volume of its crude oil purchases from Iran, Japan has again qualified for an exception to sanctions outlined in Section 1245 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012.
Additionally, 10 European Union countries – Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom – have also qualified for a renewal of the NDAA exception because they have not purchased Iranian oil since July 1, 2012, pursuant to a decision made by the whole of the European Union in January 2012. As a result, I will report to the Congress that exceptions to sanctions pursuant to Section 1245 of the NDAA for certain transactions will apply to the financial institutions based in these countries for a potentially renewable period of 180 days.
Today’s determination is another example of the international community’s commitment to convince Iran to meet its international obligations. A total of 20 countries and economies have continued to significantly reduce the volume of their crude oil purchases from Iran. We have brought significant pressure to bear on the Iranian Government, and we will continue to work with our partners to ratchet up the pressure on Iran to meet its international obligations.