US issues fresh Iran-related sanctions targeting state oil sector | MEO

Elias Hubbard
October 29, 2020

"Whilst those who now continue to deal with NIOC or Iranian oil without benefiting from any license will no doubt shrug their shoulders, those Western entities looking to legitimately re-engage after the US election will likely think twice", said sanctions lawyer Nigel Kushner, who heads London-based W Legal Ltd.

It added that Ghasemi has assumed a portion of late Commander Qasem Soleimani's role in "facilitating shipments of oil and petroleum products for the financial benefit of the IRGC-QF".

The sanctions on the petroleum industry companies are considered to be a reaction to the rise in the Iranian oil exports in recent months as per the estimates by tanker tracker despite multiple USA sanctions.

Ties between the United States and Iran have been on a knife's edge since 2018, when Washington unilaterally withdrew from a nuclear deal with Tehran despite global opposition.

In early September 2020, the US Treasury Department added 18 Iranian banks to the sanctions list. The US wants to renegotiate the Iran deal or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Whereas fellow signatories China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom nonetheless be part of Iran in help of the deal, the Trump administration has contended that the settlement freed Tehran's capacity to fund actions thought-about destabilizing to the area equivalent to funding global militias and creating extra superior ballistic missile capabilities.

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

The Trump administration announced on Monday a new round of sanctions targeting Iran's oil sector.

The stepped up sanctions follow the creation of Venezuela's "Scientific and Technological Military Council", announced by President Nicolas Maduro on Friday in a move he said would protect his country's "independence" in the face of U.S. sanctions.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif released a tweet in which he denounced the sanctions, describing the United States as "addicted to sanctions" and calling on it to "give up this habit".

Time for the U.S. to finally admit it is a #SanctionAddict.

Although the firms targeted by the US on Monday were previously sanctioned, the new designations come under counterterror authorities, which analysts and former USA officials say are much more hard to unwind than other types of sanctions. It has seen an unprecedented rise in the fresh cases in recent weeks with close to 6000 on Monday.

Iran is the worst affected country in the Middle East with over 575,000 cases and around 33,000 deaths.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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