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U.S. lifts sanctions on Iran amid stagnation in nuclear negotiations

Washington says the Biden administration will lift sanctions on three former Iranian officials and several energy companies amid stagnant nuclear negotiations, further relieving economic pressure on Iran if the country changes course. Showed motivation.

Thursday US Treasury Abolished sanctions Former Iranian Oil Company officials and some companies involved in the transportation and trading of petrochemicals. The administration described the move as a routine executive branch, saying officials had been removed from the US blacklist because they lost their position in sanctioned organizations.

However, officials familiar with the ongoing negotiations in Vienna on the future of the 2015 multilateral Iran nuclear deal said the Biden administration is considering ways to boost the negotiations. After the news, oil prices fell by nearly 2%, but quickly recovered their losses and continued to trade more than $ 70 a barrel.

“These actions demonstrate our commitment to lift sanctions in the event of changes in sanctions’ status or behavior,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement accompanying the notice of action. I did.

The action was taken by negotiators from the United States, Iran, Europe and China in Vienna. Restore the 2015 nuclear agreement With Iran, the United States and five other world powers. Discussions are expected to begin again in Vienna this weekend, according to those involved in the negotiations.

State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters late Thursday that the action was “totally unrelated” to ongoing negotiations on a nuclear deal. “This is not widespread relaxation of sanctions on Iran’s oil sector,” a Treasury official said.

Iran’s UN mission did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

U.S. and European officials, between Washington and Tehran, on how to restore the nuclear deal, Possibility of easing sanctions..

Negotiations are taking place in Vienna.


Photo:

Lisa Roy Toner / Associated Press

The Nuclear Agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, completed in 2015 lifted international economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for temporary restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program.

2018, President Trump Withdrew the United States from the dealCalled it one-sided, and claimed that it funded Tehran for its troops, weapons programs and radical groups elsewhere in the region.

To push Iran back to the negotiating table for tighter deals, the Trump administration Drastic sanctions imposed In Tehran, it hit all major export sectors and helped put the country into a serious economic recession.

In addition to the oil and banking sector, sanctions also include the shipping, construction, automotive and metal industries, targeting hundreds of Iranian officials, financial trusts and businesses by name. They effectively frozen most international business transactions with Iran and threatened US and foreign companies when dealing with Iran, including the purchase of Iran’s oil, natural gas and petrochemicals.

Iran remained a party to the agreement, even while steadily breaking many of its limits, including uranium enrichment. The country has consistently demanded that almost all sanctions be lifted in advance before the United States resumes nuclear operations in line with the 2015 agreement. The other parties to the agreement, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom, remain among them.

Vienna negotiations now appear very likely to drift past Iran’s presidential election on June 18. Some Western officials considered it a target date to complete the negotiations as it could affect Iran’s position.

US officials said they were ready to lift most sanctions on Iran’s oil, petrochemical and shipping sectors as part of an arrangement to restore the 2015 nuclear deal. So far, the United States claims to maintain other counter-terrorism sanctions, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Paramilitary It continues to have a major impact on Iran’s government, economy and foreign policy. Indeed, on Thursday, even if it lifted some sanctions, the U.S. is also helping Yemen’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Houthi rebels to fund men and businesses, U.S. officials said. Imposed new sanctions on the group.

Critics of the government’s policy on Iran said Thursday’s lifting of sanctions would undermine Washington’s influence on Iran at the talks.

Iran says it is not trying to make nuclear weapons, but its main facilities suggest that it can develop technology to make nuclear weapons. The WSJ will destroy Tehran’s capabilities to reach new milestones in uranium enrichment and limit access to inspectors.Photo Illustration: George Downs

“Releasing sanctions during negotiations shows Iran a weakness and tells Tehran to continue its malicious activities, including inciting nuclear weapons and dispatching conventional weapons to US enemies,” said President Trump. Anthony Ruggero, National Security Adviser, said. A think tank that advocated democracy and stricter sanctions.

Some Republican lawmakers said the action confirmed their fear of the Biden administration’s policy on Iran.

“The Biden administration is rushing to dismantle sanctions on Iran, especially the oil industry and shipping, before pretending to be a deal,” said Senator Ted Cruz, Texas. By tweet From his official account. “What happened to Biden’s promise not to give Ayatollah a one-sided concession?”

Thursday’s move represents a broad fragment of Iran’s sanctions and is not expected to bring significant financial or financial relief to the country. The removal of sanctions itself is not expected to break the existing impasse, coupled with the significant differences that remain between the parties negotiating in Vienna on how to recover transactions in 2015.

Still, according to data available on the Treasury website, removal from the Iran sanctions role is relatively rare and only a handful in recent years. For the last deletion in January last year, China’s leading shipping company It vowed not to handle Iranian cargo anymore.

Therefore, Thursday’s actions signal Iran that the Biden administration is not only motivated to act, but also has the administrative and legal capacity to act, analysts said.

In 2013, NIOC officials were sanctioned for avoiding the sanctions imposed on the Iranian government as the Obama administration tried to force Tehran to trade nuclear weapons. US officials at the time said the action was aimed at disrupting Iran’s nuclear and weapons program. The Trump administration said the Iranian government was helping fund a group designated as a terrorist by the United States.

Write to Ian Tally ian.talley@wsj.com And Lauren Snowman laurence.norman@wsj.com

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U.S. lifts sanctions on Iran amid stagnation in nuclear negotiations

Source link U.S. lifts sanctions on Iran amid stagnation in nuclear negotiations

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