The US on Thursday announced new sanctions targeting Iran’s oil exports in the latest sign that a revival of the Iran nuclear deal is unlikely.
The State Department announced sanctions on two Chinese-based firms accused of trading Iranian oil, while the Treasury Department designated several entities based in Hong Kong, Iran, India, and the UAE.
The Treasury Department said that the targeted entities were “involved in the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of Iranian petrochemicals and petroleum products to end users in South and East Asia.”
Iran has found some relief from US sanctions by stepping up oil sales to East Asia, and Washington has been looking to impede those deals. The sanctions are an example of how the Biden administration has escalated the so-called “maximum pressure campaign” against Iran that was started under President Trump.
Iran nuclear deal talks have stalled since the US rejected Iran’s latest response to the negotiations at the beginning of September. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has said he’s still open to negotiations but says he needs some sort of guarantee that the US won’t pull out of the deal again.