U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is likely to renew waivers on Iran oil sanctions for India, China and several other countries as soon as Wednesday, in exchange for their reducing purchases of crude from the Islamic Republic, two government sources said.
The 180-day exceptions to the oil sanctions would be the third round since President Barack Obama signed the bill in late 2011.
The Obama administration issued waivers on the sanctions to Japan and 10 European Union countries in March.
Obama will meet with China's President Xi Jinping later this week in California, and is likely to talk about ways to help China quickly move away from oil "so that they can further reduce their dependence on Iranian oil," Sherman said.
Mark Dubowitz, the director of Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a proponent of stronger sanctions on Iran, said he expected China to get a waiver. But the modest cuts by China could push Congress to intensify pressure in coming weeks and months to make sure Iran's exports keep falling, he added.
Asian consuming countries have mainly turned to Iraq, Libya and Central and South American exporters as the sanctions have forced down Iran's oil sales.