U.S. Sanctions Iran's Petroleum Ministry, National Iranian Oil Company, Tanker Subsidiary -- Update
By Ian Talley
WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration on Monday imposed
counterterror sanctions on Iran's Ministry of Petroleum, the
National Iranian Oil Company and its tanker subsidiary in a
pre-election move that analysts say will make it more difficult for
the pressure campaign to be reversed in the future.
The Treasury Department also blacklisted more than a dozen other
major Iranian state energy firms and their subsidiaries, as well as
top officials at the ministry and the firms, including the National
Petrochemical Company and the National Iranian Oil Refining and
The action comes amid concern within the administration that
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, who is leading in most
battleground-state polls, could ease sanctions after promising on
the campaign to re-engage with Iran, should he win next week's
The Treasury Department, in issuing the sanctions, said Iran's
petroleum ministry, state oil giant NIOC, the National Iranian
Tanker Company and the other blacklisted firms serve as critical
financing sources for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds
Force, Iran's elite military unit designated by the U.S. as a
terror group for its role in directing Tehran's proxies abroad.
"The regime in Iran uses the petroleum sector to fund the
destabilizing activities of the IRGC-QF," said Treasury Secretary
Steven Mnuchin, referring to the Quds Force.
Iran's mission to the United Nations didn't immediately respond
to a request for comment.
Although the firms targeted by the U.S. on Monday were
previously sanctioned, the new designations come under
counterterror authorities, which analysts and former U.S. officials
say are much more difficult to unwind than other types of
sanctions. Besides the stigma of working with terror-designated
entities and the political complications of rolling them back, such
sanctions can carry tougher penalties for anyone caught transacting
with the blacklisted firms.
Analysts say the designations put nearly all of Iran's petroleum
sector under counterterror sanctions and should act as an
additional deterrent for companies still doing business with
Write to Ian Talley at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 26, 2020 14:32 ET (18:32 GMT)
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