U.S. Grants Exceptions to 11 Nations on Iran Sanctions

Ten European countries and Japan were given an exception in exchange for a pledge to cut purchases of the OPEC nation's crude oil.

The United States has extended 180-day waivers on Iran sanctions to Japan and 10
European Union nations in exchange for their cutting purchases of the OPEC nation's crude oil, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday.

"Today's determination is another example of the international community's commitment to convince Iran to meet its international obligations," Kerry said in a statement.

The sanctions aim to choke funding to Tehran's nuclear program by slashing Iran's crude exports. Iran says the program is for civilian purposes. Countries in the West suspect it is attempting to develop nuclear weapons.