The Biden administration has announced a new round of sanctions against Iran. The US has pledged to impose financial penalties on a ‘regular basis’ in an effort to ‘severely limit’ Iran’s oil and petrochemical exports. Al-Jazeera news.
The measures announced on Thursday are mainly aimed at a number of companies based in China, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and India. The United States has accused these companies of involvement in the sale of Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products.
US President Joe Biden’s administration has also explicitly linked the sanctions to the failure to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Treasury Department official Brian Nelson said in a statement, ‘The United States is committed to strictly limiting Iran’s illicit oil and petrochemical sales. As long as Iran refuses to reciprocate the full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the United States will continue to enforce its sanctions on the sale of Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products.’
Since former US President Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal in 2018, various sectors of Iran’s economy have been under strict US sanctions.
In response, Iran has been advancing its nuclear program, including enriching uranium beyond the limits set by the deal.
Biden is seeking a return to the deal. He understood that in exchange for the lifting of sanctions against Iran’s economy, they would postpone their nuclear program. But diplomatic efforts to revive the deal have stalled.
On Thursday, the Biden administration said it would continue to strictly enforce sanctions until Iran returns to the deal.
The US Treasury Department said in a statement, ‘As Iran continues to accelerate its nuclear program in violation of the JCPOA, we will accelerate the enforcement of our sanctions on Iranian petroleum and petrochemical sales under the authority removed under the JCPOA.’
The statement added, “These enforcement actions will continue on a regular basis with the aim of strictly limiting Iran’s oil and petrochemical exports.”
However, U.S. officials say it remains to be decided whether Iran wants to return to the deal. Tehran says Washington’s reluctance to grant permanent sanctions relief is the main obstacle preventing a return to the JCPOA.
In a speech to the UN General Assembly last week, Biden said Washington was ready to return to the deal. But he also insisted his administration would not allow Tehran to acquire nuclear weapons. Iran has denied such a request.