The US has lifted some sanctions on the Iranian energy sector


The United States has abandoned a handful of sanctions aimed at the Iranian energy sector in what a senior government official said was a test of Washington’s “good faith approach.”

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday that Washington was lifting sanctions on three former Iranian government officials and two companies that had previously engaged in the Iranian petrochemical sector because of “a verified change of status. or conduct by the sanctioned parties ””.

“These actions demonstrate our commitment to lifting sanctions in the event of a change in status or behavior by sanctioned people,” he said in a statement. statement.

The price of oil fell momentarily more than 2 percent after the announcement, but immediately recovered its losses, with Brent crude falling 0.4 percent to $ 72.52 a barrel a day.

The decision marks the first time the Biden administration has relaxed any sanctions against it Iran. In 2018 Donald Trump withdrew the United States from a 2015 multi-party nuclear pact that had imposed limits on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for loosening sanctions.

The Trump administration has proceeded to launch a campaign of maximum pressure against Iran that has grown to embrace more than 1,000 additional sanctions on the country.

The Biden administration is trying to get back into nuclear pact and has launched several rounds of indirect negotiations with Iran in Vienna, although it has yet to make any progress. Tehran has repeatedly asked Washington to lift sanctions before agreeing to halt its nuclear program. Since the Trump administration withdrew from the agreement, Iran has violated key limits on its nuclear production. raising concern to the UN nuclear guard dog.

Those removed from the list of citizens specifically designated by the U.S. Treasury Thursday include senior senior officials at the Iranian National Oil Companies and groups supporting the sanctioned petrochemical sector. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Oversight Control places individuals and entities on this list for national security, foreign policy and sanctions policy.

A senior government official told the Financial Times that the decision to remove some entities from the vast U.S. sanctions regime was taken after Iranian entities demanded a review that was carried out professionally. .

While the official said the removal was not linked to continued efforts with the Vienna talks, he showed that the United States “could act in good faith.”

“Are you [the Iranians] seen as proof that an entity that is sanctioned can also be sanctioned then they will be right – being sanctioned is not a sentence for life, it is a sentence that is based on the behavior of the party, ”he said. official.

“It simply came to our notice then. . . lift the sanctions when justified ”.

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