The Biden administration on Thursday lifted sanctions on several former Iranian officials and companies as part of an effort to relax U.S. pressure as the administration negotiates a revamped nuclear deal with Tehran.
Sanctions were lifted on at least three former Iranian officials and several companies that were designated as helping the Islamic Republic evade sanctions on its oil trade, according to an announcement by the Treasury and State Departments.
"The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Department of State are lifting sanctions on three former Government of Iran officials, and two companies previously involved in the purchase, acquisition, sale, transport, or marketing of Iranian petrochemical products, as a result of a verified change in status or behavior on the part of the sanctioned parties," the State Department announced. "These actions demonstrate our commitment to lifting sanctions in the event of a change in status or behavior by sanctioned persons."
Iran has been pressuring the Biden administration to remove nearly all of the sanctions that were applied by the Trump administration. While senior Biden administration officials initially vowed to keep these sanctions in place until Iran agreed to a stricter nuclear agreement, the administration has moved in recent months to relax pressure to keep Iran at the bargaining table. Talks in Vienna have largely stalled over Iran’s refusal to roll back portions of its nuclear program.
The Treasury Department confirmed that sanctions would be lifted on these individuals and companies, saying, "These delistings are a result of a verified change in behavior or status on the part of the sanctioned parties and demonstrate the U.S. government’s commitment to lifting sanctions in the event of a change in behavior or status for sanctioned persons."
The State Department also announced sanctions on an Iranian-backed supply network to the Houthi terrorists in Yemen.