U.S. imposes fresh sanctions against Iran's oil sector

Clay Curtis
October 29, 2020

The Trump administration has since 2018 enforced sweeping sanctions aimed at ending all of Iran's key oil exports, seeking to choke off all cash sources for the regional nemesis of U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Israel.

The Treasury Department said in a statement that the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) were designated for their financial support to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF).

"The Iranian regime continues to prioritize support for terrorist entities and its nuclear program over the needs of the Iranian people", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

The Treasury Department also blacklisted more than a dozen other Iranian state energy firms and their subsidiaries, and top officials at the ministry and the firms, which include the National Petrochemical Company and the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company.

The US has been using its sanctions system as a means of cutting Iranian crude and refined products exports to the rest of the world, but a significant share of shipments appear to have been continuing.

Zanganeh added in a tweet on Twitter, commenting on United States sanctions targeting him, along with colleagues, "it is an ineffective reaction to Washington's failure to reduce Tehran's oil exports to zero".

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"I don't have any assets outside Iran that could be covered by the sanctions".

Kick the habit. More economic warfare against Iran will bring the USA less-and not more-influence. But the new restrictions could stop companies planning to return to start new discussions with Iran, the official said. NITC couldn't be reached for comment.

Mr. Biden has said he would return to the 2015 multilateral Iran nuclear agreement, which President Trump exited in 2018, if Iran returns to compliance with the accord.

Some European companies were forced to leave the country after the Trump administration reinstated sanctions in 2018 as they were more exposed to USA pressure.

Exports have shrunk from more than 2.5 million barrels per day since the United States withdrew from the nuclear deal.

The previous two and a half years has seen U.S. -Iran tensions soar throughout the Center East, together with the Persian Gulf and in Iraq, the place the Trump administration ordered the killing of Quds Pressure commander Main Common Qassem Soleimani in a January operation that compelled Iranian officers to swear revenge.

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