US adds to sanctions against Iran
Action targets 20 entities and comes as the U.S. rebuffs suggestions to lighten sanctions against Iran during coronavirus pandemic.
Iran Press/America: The U.S. designated 20 individuals and entities Thursday for providing support to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) to violate Iraq's sovereignty and exploit its economy.
"Some of these people help provide the financial support that enables the IRGC-QF to transfer lethal aid to Iranian-backed terrorist groups such as Kata’ib Hizballah (KH) and Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), and engage in other malign activities that undermine the Iraqi government’s efforts toward energy independence," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus claimed in a statement.
The designations also include entities and individuals that exploit Iraq's dependence on Iranian electricity imports for the benefit of the IRGC-QF.
Iraq is allowed to engage in financial transactions related to the import of electricity from Iran, through a U.S.-issued sanctions waiver.
"The United States engages regularly with the Iraqi government on energy security, and we support measures that reduce Iraq’s energy dependence on Iran," read the statement.
Ever since quitting the multilateral 2015 nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018, US President Donald Trump has been running what he refers to as a “maximum pressure” of sanctions against Tehran.
The American sanctions target both Iran and its international partners, including European countries that seek to engage in trade with the Islamic Republic.
So-called secondary sanctions target foreign companies that do business with Iran. Affected countries, including China, say those bans violate their sovereignty because their bilateral interactions with Iran are targeted by a third country, namely the US.