New sanctions make it even more difficult for Iranian oil tankers to find a buyer (symbol image)
Umit Bektas / REUTERS
The US is taking action against the Iranian oil sector with new sanctions.
The Iranian oil ministry, the national oil company NIOC, the national tanker company NITC and several people with ties to these institutions would be placed on the sanctions list, according to a statement from the US Treasury Department.
The reason for the measures is that the institutions support the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
The US has classified the elite unit of the Iranian armed forces as a terrorist organization.
Any property owned by the institutions and individuals concerned in the United States will be frozen.
US citizens are prohibited from doing business with them.
The Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh tweeted in the evening that the Tehran oil industry would not give in to pressure from the USA.
The new sanctions are a passive reaction to Washington's failure to reduce Tehran's oil exports to zero, he wrote: "The era of unilateralism in the world is over".
Revolutionary Guard, according to Trump, means to direct terrorist campaign
The four sanctioned people are said to have been involved in the sale of Iranian oil to the "illegitimate" government in Venezuela.
Among them is the Iranian businessman Mahmud Madanipur, whom the US government accused of arranging deliveries.
In the summer, the United States seized several Iranian oil tankers.
The US is taking action against the sale of oil to the "illegitimate" government in Venezuela.
In addition, Madanipur is said to have connections to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
Trump called the Revolutionary Guard in the past "the most important means of the Iranian government to direct and implement its worldwide terror campaign".
The Revolutionary Guard was established to keep the regime in power and reports directly to the country's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
US President Donald Trump unilaterally terminated the international nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018.
Six months later, the US had implemented its toughest economic sanctions to date against Iran, primarily targeting the Iranian oil industry - the country's largest source of income.
The purchase of Iranian oil is therefore subject to US sanctions internationally.
More and more punitive measures against Tehran followed.
The US wants to use the sanctions to force Iran to negotiate an expanded and stricter nuclear agreement.
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apr / hba / dpa / Reuters