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June 05, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has been included in a list of exempt countries released by the United States on sanctions imposed on crude oil purchases from Iran, a media report said. The US administration ruled that the economies concerned had taken steps to reduce imports of Iranian oil, so their financial institutions would not face measures under US law aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear program.

Under US sanctions legislation the administration is bound by law to reconfirm the exemptions every six months.

Under a 2011 law approved last year, the United States threatened to penalize foreign financial institutions over transactions with Iran’s central bank, which handles sales of the country’s key export.

There have been 10 failed meetings between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran over the past 18 months, as negotiators aim to get Tehran to rein in its suspect nuclear program.

On Wednesday the six world powers engaged in the stalled talks said it was “essential and urgent for Iran to engage with the agency on the substance of its concerns.”

Western countries and Israel have accused Iran of seeking to develop atomic weapons, while Tehran