TEHRAN (defapress) – The United States imposed fresh sanctions on Iran, keeping up its so-called “maximum pressure campaign” against Tehran amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak in the country.
News ID: 80540
Publish Date: 18March 2020 - 11:23
Iran is considering freeing some US citizens, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a news conference on Tuesday where he made clear Washington will maintain its maximum-pressure campaign to choke off Tehran’s ability to export its oil, Reuters reported.
The so-called campaign began after US President Donald Trump in 2018 unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
Pompeo said the State Department is blacklisting nine entities based in South Africa, Hong Kong and China, as well as three Iranian individuals, for engaging in “significant transactions” to trade in Iranian petrochemicals.
While he did not name them, Pompeo said the step included blacklisting Iran’s armed forces social security investment company and its director for investing in sanctioned entities.
Separately, the US Commerce Department said it will add six people - including five Iranian nuclear scientists - and 18 corporations to the US “Entity List” for aiding Iran’s nuclear program, Pakistan’s unsafeguarded nuclear and missile programs, and Russian military modernization efforts.
Without naming them, the Commerce Department said the move covers one company in Iran, two entities in China, nine in Pakistan, and five in the United Arab Emirates and will constrict the export of certain data-x-items to them.
The Entity List names foreign parties that are barred from receiving some or all data-x-items subject to US export regulations unless the exporter secures a license, according to the department.
On Monday, sources familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity said the United States was unlikely to ease sanctions on Iran despite growing calls on the world stage for the US to lift its illegal sanctions, which have severely affected Iran’s healthcare systems at a time when all countries are trying to join forces against the pandemic.
The new sanctions come as China and Russia, in particular, have urged the US to remove its sanctions on Tehran since the restrictions could interfere with Iran’s efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Pompeo further urged Iran to free US citizens it has detained as a humanitarian gesture because of coronavirus.