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The US has lifted some sanctions on Iran’s energy sector

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The United States has imposed a handful of sanctions on the Iranian energy sector in what a senior Biden administration official said was evidence of Washington’s “good faith approach.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday that the United States has lifted sanctions on three former Iranian government officials and two companies that have been engaged in the Iranian petrochemical sector because of “a verified change of status or behavior on the part of sanctioned parties ”.

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

Oil prices fell briefly more than 2 percent after the announcement but immediately recovered their losses, with Brent crude falling 0.4 percent to $ 72.52 a barrel a day.

The decision marked the first time the Biden administration has lifted any sanctions against Iran. In 2018, Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 multiparty nuclear pact that imposed limits on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for loosening sanctions.

The Trump administration has proceeded to deal with one maximum pressure campaign against Iran that is set to embrace more than 1,000 additional sanctions on the country.

The Biden administration is looking to return the nuclear deal and has launched several cycles of indirect negotiations with Iran in Vienna, although no progress is yet to be made. Tehran has asked repeatedly Washington lifted sanctions before agreeing to halt its nuclear program. Since the Trump administration withdrew from the agreement, Iran has violated the limits of its nuclear production, raising concerns to the UN nuclear guard dog.

Those hunted from the list of citizens specifically designated by the U.S. Treasury Thursday included senior senior officials at the Iranian National Oil Companies and groups supporting the sanctioned petrochemical sector. The U.S. Treasury’s Office of Control of Foreign Assets puts individuals and entities on the 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 ”.

Swamp notes

Rana Foroohar and Edward Luce discuss major issues at the intersection of money and power in U.S. politics every Monday and Friday. Subscribe to the newsletter here


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