The United States has granted exemptions from sanctions to 11 countries that have curbed imports of Iranian oil.
The State Department said the European Union had not purchased Iranian oil since July 2012. Because of that reduction, it said 10 countries had qualified for six-month sanctions exemptions and may now restart imports of Iranian crude.
They are: Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and Britain.
Japan also received an exemption because it has significantly reduced Iranian oil imports.
The U.S. sanctions are aimed at damaging Iran's economy, as part of moves to force Iran to halt nuclear work that Washington suspects is designed to make nuclear weapons.
Iran denies having a nuclear weapons program.
The sanctions would block countries from some business transactions with the United States.
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters