The State Department is suggesting some countries continuing to import Iranian oil could avoid sanctions after restrictions are set to be re-imposed in November.
The restrictions follow the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.
Director for policy planning Brian Hook says the U.S. is "not looking to grant licenses or waivers" but "we are prepared to work with countries that are reducing their imports on a case-by-case basis."
The announcement Monday follows comments from President Donald Trump aired by Fox News Sunday that European allies will face sanctions if they continue to trade with Iran.
The Trump administration began to dismantle sanction relief for Iran after pulling out of the landmark 2015 nuclear accord with Tehran in May, and has faced significant push back from key European allies.