Kerry commends countries for reducing oil purchases from Iran

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry commended 20 countries on decreasing or eliminating crude oil purchases from Iran to pressure the country to address international concerns or suffer economic isolation.

"The United States and the international community stand shoulder to shoulder in maintaining pressure on the Iranian regime until it fully addresses concerns about its nuclear program," Kerry said.

Kerry's statement highlighted nations that qualified for an exception to sanctions due to a commitment to decrease crude oil purchases from Iran or keep those purchases at zero; those nations include China, India, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan as outlined in section 1245 of the National Defense Authorization Act 2012.

"Today's determination is another example of the international community's strong and steady commitment to convince Iran to meet its international obligations," Kerry said.

Twenty countries and economies have reduced crude oil purchases or eliminated such purchases from Iran. The Obama administration recently increased pressure on Iran with the issuance of an Executive Order on June 3.

"The message to the Iranian regime from the international community is clear: take concrete actions to satisfy the concerns of the international community, or face increasing isolation and pressure," Kerry said.