U.S. Exempts Japan, 10 EU Nations From Iran Oil Sanctions 20 Jan 2012 The Obama administration won't impose sanctions on Japan and 10 European Union nations that have "significantly" cut back their imports of Iranian oil this year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said. The U.S. didn't grant exemptions today to China, the top importer of Iranian crude in the first half of last year, or to India and South Korea, the No. 3 and No. 4 buyers, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.