Washington, DC—Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement in reaction to an announcement by the U.S. Department of State that exceptions have been renewed for nine countries that continue to purchase Iranian crude oil, in contravention of U.S. sanctions laws.

The statement follows:

“I am disappointed that exceptions have been granted once again to countries that buy Iranian oil and help prop up the Iranian regime’s finances. The grounds for an exception are clearly too loose. To remedy that problem, the House will vote in a matter of weeks on legislation that I have co-authored to tighten the standards for granting exceptions. We must strengthen our sanctions on countries that continue to buy Iranian oil.”