US removes sanctions on two Iranian industrial entities
The administration of US President Joe Biden has lifted sanctions on two Iranian industrial entities but said there is “no change in US sanctions policy toward Iran,” and described the move as irrelevant to talks on the possible revival of a multilateral nuclear agreement with Tehran.
The US Department of Treasury on Friday announced to remove the sanctions which had targeted the Mammut Industrial Group (Mammut Industries) and its subsidiary Mammut Diesel.
These sanctions were originally imposed by the Trump administration in September 2020 as part of its so-called “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions against Iran.
However, according to the Washington Post, the Trump administration's “maximum pressure” campaign failed badly in its objectives, including renegotiation of the Iran nuclear deal and prevention of Tehran's growing influence in the Middle East.
The Biden administration’s announcement comes as it seeks to restart indirect talks between Washington and Tehran on rejoining an international nuclear deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
However, a Treasury Department spokesperson said on Friday that the deletion of the two entities, Mammut Industrial Group and Mammut Diesel, from the sanctions list “do not reflect any change in US government sanctions policy towards Iran. They have nothing to do with JCPOA negotiation efforts.”
The spokesperson added that the United States will continue to impose more sanctions on the Islamic Republic, “to counter Iran’s destabilizing activities.”
The Treasury described the sanctioned entities as being “key producers and suppliers of military-grade, dual-use goods for Iran’s missile programs.”
The sanctions are part of an estimated 1,500 bans imposed by the former Trump administration since 2018.
Former US President Donald Trump left the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in May 2018 and re-imposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the deal had lifted. He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of the “maximum pressure” campaign.
Following a year of strategic patience, Iran resorted to its legal rights stipulated in Article 26 of the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of non-compliance by other signatories and let go of some of the restrictions imposed on its nuclear energy program.
Now, the Biden administration, says it wants to compensate for Trump’s mistakes and rejoin the nuclear deal, but it is showing an overriding propensity for maintaining some of the sanctions as a tool of pressure against Iran.