UPDATE 1-US extends waivers on Iran sanctions to China, India and 7 others

Last Updated: Sat, Dec 08, 2012 19:02 hrs

By Timothy Gardner and Roberta Rampton

WASHINGTON, Dec 7 (Reuters) - The United States will grant 180-day waivers on Iran sanctions to China, India and seven other countries on Friday in exchange for those economies cutting purchases of oil from the Islamic Republic, a congressional aide said.

President Barack Obama's administration is renewing waivers for all of Iran's major oil buyers, after granting them to Japan and 10 countries in the European Union in September.

The sanctions aim to choke funding to Iran's nuclear program, which the West suspects is enriching uranium to levels that could be used in weapons. Tehran says the program is for civilian purposes.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will also grant the waivers, known as "exceptions" to South Korea, South Africa, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan, the aide said.

Iran's oil exports have fallen 50 percent this year in the face of U.S. and EU sanctions.

More from Sify: