In yet another indication that Joe Biden’s administration is reluctant to revive the Iran nuclear deal, the US Department of State issued fresh sanctions against firms from across the globe involved in oil and petrochemical trade with Iran on Thursday, March 2.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced via Twitter that his department had “designated six entities and identified 20 vessels as blocked property.” He also asserted that the US will “continue to enforce… sanctions against Iran.”
In a press statement issued on Thursday, Blinken claimed that the “United States is committed to significantly reducing Iranian energy exports and will sanction those facilitating Iran’s petroleum and petrochemical trade.” He also warned that the US “will not hesitate to take action against those who try to circumvent” existing sanctions on Iran.
The list of companies sanctioned include a firm based in Vietnam, two in China, one in the UAE, and two in Iran. The US accused these firms of being “knowingly engaging” in the transport of Iranian oil and petrochemicals in violation of existing sanctions.
As per the sanction regime, the assets belonging to these companies in the US will be blocked and any transactions with these companies will make others the target of sanctions as well.
Iran’s permanent mission to the UN denounced the move, claiming that it was “basically repeating the failed maximum pressure policy of the former US government” led by Donald Trump, Press TV reported.
Although the US first sanctioned Iran in 1979, Iran has been subjected to increased economic and political sanctions ever since the Trump administration decided to unilaterally withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or Iran nuclear deal in May 2018. By imposing fresh sanctions, Trump pursued what his administration called a “maximum pressure campaign” to force Iran to renegotiate the deal and include its regional and missile policies under its purview.
Iran rejected the new stipulations and after a year began scaling down the commitments it had made under the deal.
Joe Biden, who claimed he wanted to revive the deal during his election campaign, has failed to do so even after being in power for more than two years now. As the US has refused to lift sanctions on Iran, Iran has refused to renegotiate the deal. This is despite almost a year’s worth of talks between all the deal’s signatories in Vienna.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration continues to impose fresh sanctions on Iran.