Intel: US lifts Iran sanctions, says no link to nuclear deal

The US Treasury Department on Friday deregistered Iran-based entities that have been sanctioned by the Trump administration for their alleged involvement in Iran’s ballistic missile program.

The department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has determined that Mammut Industrial Group and its subsidiary, Mammut Diesel, are no longer blocked under Executive Order 13382, which targets weapons of mass destruction proliferators and their supporters. Both entities were removed from the list of specially designated nationals of OFAC.

The Trump administration sanctioned Mammut Industrial Group and Mammut Diesel in September 2020, accusing them of being “key producers and suppliers of military-grade dual-use goods for Iranian missile programs.”

A Treasury Department spokesperson speaking on condition of anonymity declined to say whether there had been any change in behavior from Mammut Industrial Group and Mammut Diesel. The spokesperson, however, stressed that there was no connection between Friday’s action and the Biden administration’s efforts to bring Iran back to the negotiating table in Vienna.

“These write-offs do not reflect any change in the US government’s sanctions policy towards Iran. They have nothing to do with the negotiating efforts of the JCPOA, “the spokesperson said, using the acronym for the 2015 nuclear deal.” The United States will continue to fight the destabilizing activities of the United States. Iran, in particular through the implementation of our sanctions. ”

Why is this important: Mammut Industries was nominated by the Trump administration for supporting the production of ballistic missile equipment for the Iranian aerospace industries organization, in particular the industrial group Shahid Hemmat, which the Treasury described as “the main Iranian developer of liquid-powered missiles “.

In July, the Treasury Department lifted sanctions against Behzad Ferdows, Mehrzad Ferdows and Mohammad Reza Dezfulian, three Iranians sanctioned by the previous administration for their links to Mammut Industries and Mammut Diesel.

The Iranian company and the three previously sanctioned Iranians are represented by Erich Ferrari, a Washington-based lawyer whose website says he called for the sanctions to be removed through the Treasury Department’s administrative deregistration process and court challenges. brought against OFAC.

“Don’t listen to the hype of so-called ‘experts'” he tweeted on Friday, with the advice of the Treasury. “It is not a political action.”

And after: The delisting comes as negotiations over the landmark nuclear deal remain on hold after months of indirect talks between Tehran and Washington that have failed to resuscitate the deal. In recent weeks, Iranian officials have signaled their readiness to resume negotiations, but have yet to set a date for a seventh round of talks.

The Biden administration is still calling on Iran to re-comply with the nuclear deal, but warns that the window to do so is closing quickly. White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan recently told his Israeli counterpart that “if diplomacy fails, the United States is ready to look to other options.”

Know more: Elizabeth Hagedorn has this story about Baquer Namazi, an 84-year-old US citizen detained in Iran whose family said this week needed urgent surgery abroad to avoid a fatal stroke.

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