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With the new sanctions, the US vows to 'severely limit' oil sales to Iran
The Biden administration has announced a new round of sanctions against Iran, vowing to impose financial penalties on a "regular basis" in an effort to "severely limit" Iranian oil exports.
The measures announced Thursday target several firms based in China, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and India that the United States accuses of being involved in the sale of Iranian oil and petrochemicals.
US President Joe Biden's administration also explicitly linked sanctions to the failure to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
"The United States is committed to severely limiting Iran's illicit oil and petrochemical sales," Treasury Department official Brian Nelson said in a statement.
"As long as Iran refuses a reciprocal return to full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the United States will continue to enforce its sanctions on the sale of Iranian oil and petrochemical products."
The sanctions freeze the companies' US assets and make it illegal for US citizens to do business with them.
Since former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018, various sectors of the Iranian economy have been under heavy US sanctions.
In response, Iran has advanced its nuclear program, including uranium enrichment, well beyond the limits set by the agreement.
"As Iran continues to accelerate its nuclear program in violation of the JCPOA, we will continue to accelerate the implementation of sanctions against Iran's oil and petrochemical sales under authorities that will be lifted under the JCPOA," the US Treasury Department said. in a statement.
After multiple rounds of indirect nuclear talks, Washington and Tehran have traded blame for the failure to restore the deal.
While US officials say Iran must decide whether it wants to return to the pact, Tehran says Washington's unwillingness to provide lasting sanctions relief is the main obstacle preventing a return to the JCPOA.
Source: Al Jazzera