March 20, 2012 / 6:32 PM / 5 years ago

U.S.: 12 additional countries could face Iran sanctions

WASHINGTON, March 20 (Reuters) - Twelve additional countries that import Iranian crude may eventually be subject to new U.S. financial sanctions unless they significantly cut their purchases, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday.

The official, speaking as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was expected to exempt Japan and 10 European Union countries from new U.S. sanctions, said other importers could look to the example of Japan, which cut Iran oil purchases from 15-22 pct over the last half of 2011.

The official did not list the countries, although major Iranian crude importers include China, India, Turkey and South Africa. (Reporting By Andrew Quinn; editing by Jackie Frank)

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