India, 8 other nations exempted from sanctions for Iranian oil import

The United States has exempted India and eight other nations from sanctions for importing oil from Iran, keeping in view that these countries have considerably cut their dependence on Iranian oil in the last six months.
Who have qualified for this exemption?
As per the US statement- India, China, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Taiwan have qualified for an exception to sanctions under America’s Iran Sanctions Act, based on additional significant reductions in the volume of their crude oil purchases from Iran or for reducing those purchases to zero and remaining there.
Why these sanctions on Iran?
These sanctions are one of the US measures aimed to step up the pressure on Iran over its nuclear program, which Washington suspects is aimed at making weapons but Iran insists is for generating electricity and medical research. The US hopes the pressure will compel Iran to come clean on its nuclear activity so that the US and its allies can avoid any military intervention to prevent the Islamic republic from obtaining an atomic arsenal.

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