Clarifying that the exemption from the sanctions imposed on Iran, given to seven countries, including India, by the United States, is valid for only six months, a senior U.S. official has hoped that these countries would continue to reduce their dependence on Iranian oil.

The clarification came days after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noted that these countries have “significantly” reduced their dependence on Iranian oil.

“This is something that we're asking of all of our partners around the world. This is not something that's focused on India. But the current exceptions that have been granted apply for a period of 180 days — so for a period of six months,” Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake told reporters here.

“So we're asking all of our friends and all countries around the world to continue to reduce their imports of oil from Iran and to discontinue transactions with the Central Bank of Iran ,” Mr. Blake said.

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