The United States has tried two disparate tactics to contain Iran in the five years since the Trump administration withdrew from the nuclear deal brokered by the world’s six major powers in 2015. Both efforts failed. As part of President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” approach, he withdrew from the accord in 2018 and reimposed biting economic sanctions to pressure Iran into negotiating a stronger accord. Iran responded by accelerating its nuclear program. President Joe Biden relaunched diplomacy in 2021, with the European Union leading diplomacy between Iran and the world six major powers – Britain, China, France, Germany Russia, and the United States – over 16 months. He also applied punitive new sanctions. Again, Iran countered with further advances. On the fifth anniversary of the U.S. withdrawal, tensions between Washington and Tehran had reached an unprecedented peak.
The JCPOA was enshrined in U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231. But it was not a formal treaty, which would have required ratification by the U.S. Senate. The deal was a set of political commitments, which allowed President Trump to unilaterally withdraw in 2018.
By 2023, Iran had exceeded all the important limitations on its nuclear program. Its advances, in response to the reimposition of economic and financial sanctions by the United States, made the restrictions obsolete. The following is a timeline of key U.S. actions and statements since 2018.
The Trump Administration
May 8, 2018: President Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA and re-imposition of sanctions on Iran. Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia moved to salvage the accord. Iran said that it intended to adhere to the deal if its economic benefits were guaranteed. Non-party states with significant trade interests in Iran, such as Turkey and India, said they would comply only with U.N. sanctions. Foreign companies began withdrawing from Iran rather than risk running afoul of U.S. sanctions.
On May 18, the European Commission announced four measures to salvage the JCPOA. They included launching a process to activate the Blocking Statute, which would forbid E.U. persons from complying with U.S. extraterritorial sanctions, allow companies to recover damages incurred by sanctions from the sanctioning party, and nullify foreign court judgments in the European Union.
May 21, 2018: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo laid out 12 requirements for a new nuclear deal with Iran: “We’re open to new steps with not only our allies and partners, but with Iran as well. But only if Iran is willing to make major changes,” he said. The demands called on Iran to stop enriching uranium, end its proliferation of ballistic missiles, and end support to terrorist groups, including Hezbollah and Hamas.
Nov. 5, 2018: The U.S. Treasury re-imposed sanctions on Iran that had been lifted or waived in January 2016 under the JCPOA. The Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned more than 700 individuals, entities, aircraft, and vessels—its largest ever single-day action targeting Iran. The targets included banks such as Iran’s central bank, the Iranian oil company, and many other key economic actors. “Iran’s leaders must cease support for terrorism, stop proliferating ballistic missiles, end destructive regional activities, and abandon their nuclear ambitions immediately if they seek a path to sanctions relief,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Feb. 14, 2019: Vice President Mike Pence demanded that European countries join the United States in withdrawing from the JCPOA during a Middle East conference that the United States co-hosted in Warsaw, Poland. On the same day, a suicide bombing in the Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchistan killed 27 IRGC soldiers. Iranian President Rouhani blamed the United States and Israel for the attack.
March 22, 2019: The U.S. State Department and Treasury sanctioned 31 Iranian entities and individuals linked to the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research. The organization was founded by Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who allegedly headed Iran’s pre-2004 nuclear weapons program, in 2011. “SPND has employed as many as 1500 individuals – including numerous researchers associated with the Amad plan, who continue to carry out dual-use research and development activities, of which aspects are potentially useful for nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons delivery systems,” according to the State Department. The designations serve as a “warning to individuals and entities considering dealing with the Iranian regime’s defense sector in general, and SPND in particular: by engaging in sanctionable activity with designated Iranian persons, you risk professional, personal, and financial isolation,” said the Treasury.
April 22, 2019: Secretary of State Pompeo announced that the United States would stop providing sanctions exemptions to countries that import Iranian oil. “We will continue to apply maximum pressure on the Iranian regime until its leaders change their destructive behavior, respect the rights of the Iranian people, and return to the negotiating table,” said Pompeo. He noted that oil sales account for up to 40 percent of Iran’s revenue. The Trump administration's stated goal was to bring Iranian exports down to zero.
May 8, 2019: President Trump signed an executive order to impose sanctions on Iran’s iron, steel, aluminum, and copper sectors. The White House statement noted that those metals are “the regime’s largest non-petroleum-related sources of export revenue,” some 10 percent. Trump warned that “Tehran can expect further actions unless it fundamentally alters its conduct.”
May 27, 2019: President Trump reiterated that United States was not seeking regime in Iran. “We’re not looking for regime change. I want to make that clear,” he said at a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “We’re looking for no nuclear weapons.” Trump added that he was willing to negotiate with Iran. “I do believe Iran would like to talk, and if they’d like to talk, we’ll talk also…. Nobody wants to see terrible things happen, especially me.”
June 3, 2019: Secretary Pompeo clarified that that the United States would talk to Iran if it was ready to have a conversation about wide-ranging changes to its domestic and foreign policy. “We want them to cease their nuclear weapons programs and put a permanent halt to them,” he told Radio Television Suisse. “We want them to stop building up their missile systems in ways that present a threat to places like Switzerland. We want them to cease their terror campaign around the world that has displaced millions of people and killed hundreds of thousands of people.”
July 10, 2019: The United Sates accused Iran of committing “nuclear extortion” during an emergency meeting of the IAEA in Vienna. “There is no credible reason for Iran to expand its nuclear program, and there is no way to read this as anything other than a crude and transparent attempt to extort payments from the international community,” said U.S. Ambassador to the International Organizations in Vienna. President Trump vowed that the United States would respond with additional sanctions against Tehran.
July 25, 2019: Secretary of State Pompeo said that he would go to Iran for talks on regional security if invited. He added that he would welcome the opportunity “to speak directly to the Iranian people.” Three days later, Pompeo said Tehran had rejected his offer to directly address the Iranian people.
Oct. 31, 2019: The United States announced sanctions on Iran’s construction sector and the sale of certain materials used in Tehran’s nuclear, military or ballistic missile programs. The sale of raw and semi-finished metals, graphite, coal, and software for integrating industrial purposes would be prohibited if the materials were deemed to be used in Iran’s construction industry. The State Department also announced the renewal of waivers for an additional 90 days that allowed Russian, Chinese and European companies to continue working on non-proliferation projects at Iranian nuclear facilities.
Nov. 18, 2019: Secretary of State Pompeo said that the United States would cancel sanctions waivers for projects at Iran’s Fordo nuclear plant effective December 15. “The right amount of uranium enrichment for the world’s largest state sponsor of terror is zero... There is no legitimate reason for Iran to resume enrichment at this previously clandestine site,” Pompeo said. The waivers had allowed foreign firms to work on Iran’s civil nuclear program without penalties.
Dec. 11, 2019: Secretary of State Pompeo announced sanctions on three Iranian transportation companies that “helped Iran import items for its weapons of mass destruction programs.” The United States also blacklisted a shipping network that smuggled weapons from Iran to Yemen to support the Qods Force, an elite branch of the IRGC responsible for external operations.
Mar. 17, 2020: The State Department designated nine companies in South Africa, Hong Kong and China, as well as three Iranian nationals, for “the purchase, acquisition, sale, transport, or marketing of petrochemical products from Iran” in violation of U.S. sanctions. The Department of Commerce separately designated 18 corporations and six individuals — including five Iranian nuclear scientists — for assisting with Iran’s nuclear program, Pakistan’s unsafeguarded nuclear and missile programs, and Russian military modernization efforts.
May 27, 2020: The Trump administration announced that it would end waivers – or exemptions from U.S. sanctions – allowing British, Chinese and Russian companies to work at three Iranian nuclear sites. The work focused on ways to contain or limit Iran’s ability to use its nuclear program to build a bomb. The foreign projects were part of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the world’s six major powers. Foreign companies involved were given 60 days to wind down activities on three projects—or face U.S. sanctions.
June 8, 2020: The United States expanded sanctions on Iran’s shipping industry. The Treasury Department blacklisted Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and its Shanghai-based subsidiary, E-Sail Shipping Company Ltd, along with more than 100 ships and tankers. “IRISL has repeatedly transported items related to Iran’s ballistic missile and military programs and is also a longstanding carrier of other proliferation-sensitive items,” including items that can be used in Iran’s nuclear program, Secretary of State Pompeo said.
Sept. 3, 2020: The State Department sanctioned five companies for the purchase, acquisition, sale, transport and marketing of Iranian petroleum. The Treasury also sanctioned six companies with ties to Triliance Petrochemical – a Hong Kong-based company with branches in Iran, China, Germany and the United Arab Emirates. The Treasury had sanctioned Triliance in January 2020 for transferring the equivalent of millions of dollars to the National Iranian Oil Company.
Sept. 19, 2020: The United States reimposed U.N. sanctions on Iran that had been lifted as part of the 2015 nuclear deal. Secretary Pompeo declared that the United States would unilaterally reenact five sets of U.N. sanctions from 2006 through 2010, despite opposition from the other five major powers that brokered the nuclear deal and most of the 15-member Security Council. The old sanctions reimposed by the United States included: Resolution 1696, Resolution 1737, Resolution 1747, Resolution 1803 and Resolution 1929.
Sept. 21, 2020: The United States sanctioned 24 government organizations, companies, officials and suppliers connected to Iran’s conventional arms, nuclear and missile programs.
Oct. 8, 2020: The Treasury Department sanctioned 18 major Iranian banks to stop illicit access to U.S. dollars. Most Iranian banks, including the Central Bank that facilitates trade and regulates currency, were already sanctioned. The new measures mainly hit private banks that had limited or no involvement in illicit activities. They were designated because the Trump administration had declared Iran’s entire financial sector a threat to the United States. One bank was affiliated with the military.
Oct. 29, 2020: The State Department and Treasury Department sanctioned 11 companies based in Iran, China and Singapore for purchasing and selling Iranian oil. Four Iranian men and one Chinese woman were also added to the sanctions list. “The Iranian regime benefits from a global network of entities facilitating the Iranian petrochemical sector,” Secretary Mnuchin said. “The United States remains committed to targeting any revenue source the Iranian regime uses to fund terrorist groups and oppress the Iranian people.”
Jan. 5, 2021: The Treasury Department sanctioned 12 Iranian- and four foreign-based companies as well as one Iranian man involved with steel production and sales. “The Trump Administration remains committed to denying revenue flowing to the Iranian regime as it continues to sponsor terrorist groups, support oppressive regimes, and seek weapons of mass destruction,” Secretary Mnuchin said.
Jan. 19, 2021: The State Department added 15 metals to its list of banned imports to Iran, including seven types of aluminum, six types of steel and two types of zirconium. Secretary of State Pompeo claimed that the metals were “used in connection with Iran’s nuclear, military or ballistic missile programs.” He threatened sanctions against companies that transferred the metals to Iran’s construction sector, which he said was controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). “The IRGC’s construction firm and many of its subsidiaries remain sanctioned by the United Nations because they were directly involved in the clandestine construction of the uranium enrichment site at Fordow,” he said in a statement.
The Biden Administration
Sept. 13, 2020: As a presidential candidate, Joe Biden pledged that he would “offer Tehran a credible path back to diplomacy” if elected. “If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations,” Biden wrote in September 2020. “With our allies, we will work to strengthen and extend the nuclear deal's provisions, while also addressing other issues of concern,” such as ballistic missiles and Iran’s regional proxies.
Jan. 29, 2021: Rob Malley was appointed Special Envoy for Iran. Malley was previously the lead U.S. negotiator for nuclear talks with Iran in 2015. The State Department praised Malley for his “track record of success negotiating constraints on Iran's nuclear program.”
Feb. 7, 2021: President Biden reaffirmed in a CBS interview that his administration would not lift sanctions first to entice Iran back to the negotiating table.
Feb. 18, 2021: The Biden administration accepted an invitation from the European Union to meet with the P5+1 countries – Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States – with Iran to chart a diplomatic way forward. It also rescinded the Trump administration’s letter invoking “snapback sanctions” at the United Nations. The Biden administration also lifted travel restrictions on Iranian diplomats based at the United Nations.
March 10, 2021: Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Iran needed to take proactive steps to spur new diplomacy. “The ball is in their court to see if they are serious about re-engaging or not,” Blinken testified to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. U.S. negotiators would not “rush or slow things because of the Iranian elections” in June, Malley told Axios.
March 17, 2021: Malley acknowledged that “neither side is going to go first entirely” in returning to compliance with the JCPOA. “There's going to have to be some agreement on choreographing, on synchronizing,” he told BBC Persian. “We're open to discussing that. But it's going to have to be discussed. It's not going to happen simply unilaterally by one side taking all the steps and waiting then to see whether the other one reciprocates.”
March 29. 2021: A Politico report detailed a purported diplomatic proposal by the Biden administration made to Iran. The United States would lift some sanctions in exchange for Iran reversing the most egregious violations of the JCPOA: enriching uranium to 20 percent and its work on advanced centrifuges. But Iran appeared to publicly reject the proposal; its U.N. mission reiterated that the U.S. needed to "fully and immediately" return to the nuclear deal first.
April 2, 2021: The United States and Iran said that they would both attend diplomatic talks in Vienna the following week to discuss the JCPOA but would not meet directly. The Vienna meeting would focus on reaching two separate agreements: one with the United States on its timetable for lifting sanctions and one with Iran on its timetable for returning into compliance, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Timely exchange with @USEnvoyIran Robert Malley. The @IAEAorg continues its work and is prepared to support the ongoing consultations from its impartial technical perspective. pic.twitter.com/G9mwFCahjm— Rafael MarianoGrossi (@rafaelmgrossi) April 7, 2021
April 6-9, 2021: The European Union mediated the first round of nuclear negotiations among the world’s six major powers and Iran.
April 9, 2021: The first week of talks in Vienna concluded. No final agreement was reached, but participants agreed to reconvene the following week. The P4+1 "took stock of the work done by experts over the last three days and noted with satisfaction the initial progress made," Ambassador Ulyanov tweeted.
April 15-20, 2021: The European Union mediated the second round of nuclear negotiations among the world’s six major powers and Iran.
April 20, 2021: The Joint Commission created a third expert group "to start looking into the possible sequencing of respective measures" by the United States and Iran to reenter the JCPOA. Diplomatic talks in Vienna paused to give delegations time to consult with their capitals. Parties would resume discussions the following week. "There has been some progress, but there remains a long road ahead," State Department spokesperson Ned Price said. "And I think it’s fair to say that we have more road ahead of us than we do in the rearview mirror."
April 27-May 1, 2021: The European Union mediated the third round of nuclear negotiations among the world’s six major powers and Iran.
May 6-19, 2021: The European Union mediated the fourth round of nuclear negotiations among the world’s six major powers and Iran.
May 23, 2021: Secretary Blinken told CNN that the delegations in Vienna had "made progress in clarifying what each side needs to do to get back into full compliance" with the 2015 nuclear deal. But "the question that we don’t have an answer to yet, is whether Iran, at the end of the day, is willing to do what is necessary," he added.
May 25-June 2, 2021: The European Union mediated the fifth round of nuclear negotiations among the world’s six major powers and Iran.
June 10, 2021: The United States lifted sanctions on three former Iranian officials and two companies previously involved in buying, selling, or transporting Iranian petrochemical products. One company was based in Hong Kong, and the other was based in mainland China. “These actions demonstrate our commitment to lifting sanctions in the event of a change in status or behavior by sanctioned persons,” Secretary of State Blinken said. The Treasury clarified that the three men were no longer working for entities tied to Iran’s government. The delisting was announced two days ahead of the sixth round of talks on bringing Iran and the United States back into compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal.
June 12-20, 2021: The European Union mediated the sixth round of nuclear negotiations among the world’s six major powers and Iran.
June 25, 2021: Secretary of State Blinken warned that expiration of the IAEA's monitoring agreement could complicate efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. "The concern has been communicated to Iran and needs to be resolve," he told reporters in Paris.
July 14, 2021: Iran informed European diplomats that it would not be ready to resume negotiations in Vienna until after Ebrahim Raisi was inaugurated as the new president in August, Reuters reported. "We were prepared to continue negotiating, but the Iranians requested more time to deal with their presidential transition," a State Department spokesperson said.
The State Department warned that the U.S. offer to return to the nuclear deal was not "indefinite" and urged a swift return to negotiations. "There will come a point where our calculus will change, where the gains that Iran is able to make in its nuclear program, the benefits it accrues might one day outweigh the benefit that the international community would accrue from a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA," Ned Price told reporters at a press briefing. "We’re not there yet, but that is why we believe we should...return to Vienna for these talks just as soon as we can.
July 17, 2021: Araghchi said that Iran would not return to Vienna for a seventh round of talks until after Raisi’s inauguration. “We’re in a transition period as a democratic transfer of power is underway in our capital,” he tweeted. State Department spokesman Price condemned the delay as “outrageous.”
July 29, 2021: Secretary Blinken warned Iran against advancing its nuclear program and dragging out talks. “We are committed to diplomacy, but this process cannot go on indefinitely,” he told reporters in Kuwait. “At some point the gains achieved by the JCPOA cannot be fully recovered by a return to the JCPOA if Iran continues the activities that it's undertaken with regard to its nuclear program.”
Oct. 25, 2021: Special Envoy for Iran Malley warned that Tehran’s reasons for delaying nuclear talks were “wearing very thin.” He also said that the United States and its partners were increasingly concerned “over the “pace and direction of Iran’s nuclear progress.” He added that Iran’s nuclear advances could eventually negate the nonproliferation benefits of the JCPOA. “You can’t revive a dead corpse,” he told reporters after visiting Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and France.
Oct. 30, 2021: President Joe Biden and the leaders of Britain, France and Germany said that the 2015 nuclear deal could be restored quickly if Iran changes course. “We call upon President [Ebrahim] Raisi to seize this opportunity and return to a good faith effort to conclude our negotiations as a matter of urgency. That is the only sure way to avoid a dangerous escalation, which is not in any country’s interest,” President Biden, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, President Emmanuel Macron, and Chancellor Angela Merkel said on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome.
Nov. 29-Dec. 17, 2021: The European Union mediated the seventh round of nuclear negotiations among the world’s six major powers and Iran.
Dec. 27, 2021-March 11, 2022: The European Union mediated the eighth round of nuclear negotiations among the world’s six major powers and Iran.
June 16, 2022: The United States sanctioned a network smuggling Iranian petrochemical products, a class of chemicals derived from oil and natural gas essential to manufacturing paints, plastics, solar panels, medicine and mobile phones that facilitate modern life. The goods were exported to China and other countries in East Asia. The Treasury Department named two men and nine companies operating in Iran, China, and the United Arab Emirates. The move marks a tightening of U.S. sanctions on both Iran and third parties that deal in Iranian goods.
June 28-29, 2022: Iran and the United States resumed indirect talks in Doha, Qatar. The E.U.-mediated talks ended with no breakthrough. “The Iranians have not demonstrated any sense of urgency, raised old issues that have been settled for months, and even raised new issues that are unrelated to the 2015 nuclear agreement. A deal has been available for some time,” a senior U.S. official said. “If there is a side that needs to take a decision, it’s them — and it’s been them for months.”
July 6, 2022: The United States sanctioned a network that smuggled hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products to East Asia. Petrochemicals, derived from oil and natural gas, are essential to manufacturing paints, plastics, solar panels, medicine, and mobile phones that facilitate modern life.
The Treasury Department named two Iranian men and eight companies based in Iran, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The State Department also sanctioned five companies – based in Iran, Singapore and Vietnam – and two vessels linked to the sale and transport of petroleum products from Iran. The move marked a tightening of U.S. sanctions on both Iran and third parties that deal in Iranian goods.
Aug. 1, 2022: The United States sanctioned six companies for helping to sell millions of dollars’ worth of Iranian oil and petrochemical products to East Asian buyers. Petrochemicals, derived from oil and natural gas, are essential to manufacturing paints, plastics, solar panels, medicine, and mobile phones that facilitate modern life.
The Treasury Department named four companies: three based in China, and one based in the United Arab Emirates. The State Department also sanctioned a company based in China and another in Singapore, as well as a Panama-flagged tanker. Iran’s Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industry Commercial Co., one of the nation’s largest petrochemical brokers, used the six firms to facilitate the sale and shipment of Iranian oil and petrochemical products.
Aug. 4-8, 2022: Indirect negotiations between the United States and Iran, mediated by E.U. diplomats, resumed in Vienna. The European Union presented a “final” draft of a deal to restore the JCPOA as talks ended and diplomats returned to their respective capitals for consultations. “What can be negotiated has been negotiated, and it’s now in a final text,” E.U. foreign policy chief Josep Borrell tweeted.
During the talks, Iran had reportedly dropped two demands, according to The New York Times. The first was that the United States remove the IRGC from the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. The second was a guarantee that a future U.S. administration will not withdraw from the JCPOA again. Iranian state media reported, however, that Iran had not dropped its demand on the IRGC.
But Iran had made a new demand that the U.N. nuclear watchdog close its three-year probe into unexplained traces of uranium at three undeclared locations in Iran. The investigation was related to Iran’s fulfillment of obligations as part of its safeguards obligations as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Iranian officials reportedly rejected Borrell’s assertion that the text was finalized.
Aug. 24, 2022: Iran announced that it had received the U.S. response to its comments on the draft deal. “The careful review of the response has started in Tehran,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani said.
John Kirby, spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council, said that Iran had made “some concessions” which brought the parties closer to a deal. But “gaps remain, we’re not there yet.”
- Ensuring that a future U.S. administration will not withdraw from the deal
- “Objective and practical verification” of the deal’s terms
- “Sustainable” removal of U.S. sanctions
- Closing the U.N. nuclear watchdog investigation into Iran’s past nuclear activities
Sept. 29, 2022: The United States sanctioned an international network of companies for selling Iranian petrochemicals and petroleum products worth millions of dollars to Asian buyers. Petrochemicals, derived from oil and natural gas, are essential to manufacturing paints, plastics, solar panels, medicine, and mobile phones that facilitate modern life.
The State Department named two companies based in China that were involved in illicit oil sales. The Treasury Department designated eight other firms based in Hong Kong, Iran, India, and the United Arab Emirates. Those companies concealed the Iranian origin of the petrochemicals and petroleum products; they worked with two previously sanctioned Iranian brokers to ship the cargo to Asia.
Oct. 12, 2022: The nuclear talks were “not our focus now,” State Department Spokesperson Price told reporters when asked if Washington was interested in pursuing diplomacy. The Iranians “have made very clear that this is not a deal that they have been prepared to make.” The focus was on spotlighting the “remarkable bravery and courage that the Iranian people are exhibiting through their peaceful demonstrations” following the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurd who was detained for “improper” dress.
Oct. 21, 2022: Secretary Blinken said that Iran continued to “inject extraneous issues” into JCPOA talks. “And as long as they continue to do that, there is no possibility, no prospect for an agreement.”
Nov. 17, 2022: The United States sanctioned an international network of companies for smuggling Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products. Petrochemicals, derived from oil and natural gas, are essential to manufacturing paints, plastics, solar panels, medicine, and mobile phones that facilitate modern life. “The United States is committed to enforcing our sanctions against Iran, including those related to the petroleum and petrochemical trade,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. “Anyone involved in facilitating these sales and transactions risks exposure to U.S. sanctions.”
Feb. 9, 2023: The United States sanctioned nine companies based in Iran, Singapore, and Malaysia that produced, sold, and shipped Iranian petroleum and petrochemicals. Petrochemicals, derived from oil and natural gas, are essential to manufacturing paints, plastics, solar panels, medicine, and mobile phones that facilitate modern life. The firms sold products worth hundreds of millions of dollars to buyers in Asia. “Today’s action demonstrates our continued efforts to enforce U.S. sanctions on Iran’s petroleum and petrochemical trade and disrupt Iran’s efforts to circumvent sanctions,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
March 2, 2023: The United States sanctioned six companies for selling or shipping Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products. Petrochemicals, derived from oil and natural gas, are essential to manufacturing paints, plastics, solar panels, medicine, and mobile phones that facilitate modern life. The State Department cited six firms based in Iran, China, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam. It also listed 20 vessels as property of the sanctioned companies. “These designations underscore our continued efforts to enforce our sanctions against Iran,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. “We will not hesitate to take action against those who try to circumvent our sanctions.”
March 9, 2023: The United States sanctioned 39 companies for providing Iranian oil firms access to the international financial system. The network, which moved billions of dollars for the Islamic Republic, was based in Iran, Hong Kong, Singapore, Pakistan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the Marshall Islands. “The United States will continue to disrupt attempts to evade U.S. sanctions, and we will use the tools at our disposal to protect both the U.S. and international financial system,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
Photo Credits: Israeli jets and a U.S. bomber via Israel Defense Forces