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Hillary Clinton says progress made over Seoul's reduced export of Iranian oil

03-10-2012 09:13 BJT

WASHINGTON, March 9 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday that Washington and Seoul are making progress in their discussions over the latter's reduced import of Iran's oil.

"I want to begin by saying we are deeply gratified by the support that we have received from the Republic of Korea (ROK) in building a global coalition to pressure Iran to change course," the top U.S. envoy told reporters after meeting with her ROK counterpart Kim Sung-hwan at the State Department.

"We're making progress and I think that is our assessment at this time," she said.

President Barack Obama signed a bill at the end of last year, expanding U.S. sanctions against Iran to cover its central bank and financial sector, a move that allows penalties on foreign banks that settle oil imports with the Iranian central bank.

The law, however, offers waivers to firms from countries that significantly reduce their crude imports from Iran. Washington has sent officials to Japan, ROK, India and other countries to persuade them to reduce their dependence on Iran's oil.

"We have been working very closely with the Republic of Korea on ways that it can look for alternatives to Iranian oil and oil products," Clinton said.

"Our goal is simple. We want the Iranian regime to feel the full weight of the international community from these measures, and to demonstrate unequivocally to them that the world is united against their efforts to obtain nuclear weapons," she said.

"And so we are continuing our very close, expert engagement," she added. "And I would be the first to say, we recognize the difficult decisions and even the sacrifices that we are asking from other countries in order to increase this pressure on Iran."


Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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