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Foreign Affairs

A week before Trump’s term ends, US Treasury imposes new sanctions on Iranian foundations

In its final days in power, the hawkish administration of lame-duck US President Donald Trump has imposed new sanctions on Iranian foundations.

The US on Wednesday blacklisted two Iranian foundations and their subsidies, claiming the institutions kept the ownership over large parts of the country’s economy.

The designations announced by the US Treasury Department target the state organization Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order (EIKO), and Astan Quds Razavi (AQR), an organization that manages the holy shrine of Imam Reza, the eighth Shia Imam.

The sanctions, which also target the foundations’ leaders and subsidiaries, freeze assets of those targeted and threaten anyone engaging in certain transactions with those individuals with US sanctions.

The fresh sanctions are the latest action to reinforce the failed “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran pursued by the Trump administration.

Tensions have risen between Iran and the US after Trump unilaterally left a 2015 historic nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers, describing the deal, which was struck by his predecessor Barack Obama, as the worst ever negotiated.

The US administration also reinstated the sanctions that had been lifted against Iran under the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The fresh sanctions come in the final days of Republican Trump's term. He is due to hand over power to Democratic President-elect Joe Biden.

Biden, who is set to take office on January 20, has denounced Trump's withdrawal from the JCPOA.

He has also expressed willingness to return the United States to the nuclear deal.

After a year of sticking to its obligations under the JCPOA, Iran suspended its commitments in response to the US measures and the Europeans’ failure to trade business with Iran.

Tehran says its measures are reversible if the other side fulfills its commitments, stressing that the US needs to lift the sanctions.

Delivering a televised address earlier this week, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei asserted that Iran’s “ultimate and definitive” position on the matter was that the US had to primarily lift its sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

The Leader called the Iranians’ right to lead a sanctions-free life “a right that has been usurped” by Washington.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif echoed the Leader's position in an interview, saying the Iranian nation must feel the tangible results of any sanctions relief instead of the US possibly lending an "empty signature" to the nuclear deal.

Source: Press TV

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