U.S. issues fresh Iran-related sanctions targeting state oil sector

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Monday imposed fresh Iran-related sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic's oil sector, including the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum, in Washington's latest action to increase pressure on Tehran.

The U.S. Treasury Department in a statement said it was slapping sanctions on key actors in Iran's oil sector for supporting the Quds Force, the elite foreign paramilitary and espionage arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps blacklisted by the United States.

The minister of petroleum, the National Iranian Oil Company and National Iranian Tanker Company were also blacklisted, alongside other individuals and entities in Washington's move, as were four people the Treasury accused of being involved in the recent sale of Iranian gasoline to the government of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.

"The regime in Iran uses the petroleum sector to fund the destabilizing activities of the IRGC-QF," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran have soared since Trump unilaterally withdrew in 2018 from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal struck by President Barack Obama and began reimposing U.S. sanctions that had been eased under the accord.

(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis; Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

10/26/2020 17:59

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