US Treasury: New Sanctions to Ban Humanitarian Trade with Iran
By Staff, Agencies
The US Treasury Department has stressed that Washington's newly announced sanctions targeting Iran's air and maritime transport industries will lead to the restriction of trade related to humanitarian goods.
"US persons will be prohibited from engaging in transactions involving Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) or E-Sail, including transactions for the sale of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, or medical devices," the Treasury's guidelines on Iran sanctions read.
"In addition, non-US persons that knowingly engage in certain transactions with IRISL or E-Sail, even for the sale to Iran of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, or medical devices, risk exposure to sanctions under additional authorities," it added.
The announcement comes after the Trump administration announced Wednesday that it was targeting IRISL and Iran's major airline, Mahan Air - two major arms of Iran's civilian transportation.
The Wednesday order put IRISL and Mahan under US presidential Executive Order (EO) 13382, which allegedly targets "weapons of mass destruction proliferators".
The Treasury's guidelines on the new sanctions stressed that entities put under EQ 13382 would not be eligible for any humanitarian sanction exceptions.
The statement comes despite Washington's claim that its sanctions do not affect Iran's access to humanitarian goods.
US officials have, nonetheless, signaled on numerous occasions that Washington's sanctions seek to harm Iran's general population in a bid to force Tehran to accept Washington's dictates.
Earlier this year, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Tehran had to listen to Washington “if they want their people to eat”.
he new bans mark the latest round of Washington's wide sweeping sanctions against the country after the US government unilaterally pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and re-imposed sanctions lifted under the deal last year.
Speaking on Thursday, US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook boasted that US sanctions targeting Iran's oil sector have led to more than $50 billion in revenue losses, have hindered Iran's refined-oil products and have undermined foreign investment.
"Both upstream and downstream investments in Iran's oil and gas sector have stopped," Hook said.
"Foreign investors have almost entirely pulled out of Iran due to the risks and billions in investment has been lost," he added.
Hook said that the wide sweeping oil sanctions seek to force Iran to negotiate with the US, a demand which Iranian officials have firmly rejected as long as Washington fails to uphold the previously negotiated nuclear deal agreement.