The United States government will not impose sanctions against Japan and 10 European Union countries that continue to buy oil from Iran, the BBC reported.
The sanctions, which were approved by Congress in December, are designed to punish nations that continue to purchase oil from Iran. Failure by nations to cease buying oil from Iran would result in those governments being cut off from the US financial system.
China, India, and South Korea, three major customers of Iranian oil, are not exempt, according to the BBC.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that Japan and the 10 EU countries – including France, UK, Germany, Belgium, Greece, and Italy – had taken significant steps to find alternatives to Iranian oil.
Iran has been subject to sanctions due to the government’s refusal to cooperate with international bodies over its nuclear program. The EU voted earlier this year to impose an oil embargo against Iran that will take effect in early July.