WASHINGTON - The United States will exempt India, South Korea and five other countries from financial sanctions because they have significantly cut purchases of Iranian oil, two congressional aides told Reuters on Monday.

One aide said Turkey, South Africa, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka would also be exempted from the sanctions.

The Obama administration is expected to announce the decision later on Monday. It means banks in the countries will be given a reprieve from the threat of being cut off from the US financial system under new sanctions designed to pressure Iran over its nuclear program.

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