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US sanctions on Iran oil sector ineffective, out of pure grudge: Petroleum minister

Iran’s petroleum minister says the latest wave of sanctions imposed by the administration of US President Donald Trump, which targets the Islamic Republic’s oil sector, has no practical effect and stems from Washington’s grudge toward Tehran.

The US administration imposed a fresh round of sanctions on a number of Iranian individuals and entities affiliated with the Islamic Republic’s oil sector, including Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zanganeh, on October 26.

In its statement, the US Treasury Department said the sanctions targeted eight officials and entities as well as the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC). The British-based companies of Madanipour, Mobin Holding Limited and Oman Fuel Trading Ltd were also blacklisted.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Washington was slapping sanctions on “key actors” in Iran’s oil sector for what he claimed was supporting the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), which has already been blacklisted.

Speaking at the inauguration of a major natural gas supply project on Monday, Zanganeh said, “In his final days at the White House, Mr. Trump imposed sanctions on a number of high-ranking oil sector officials of Iran under the pretext of their alleged support for terrorism.”

"We are victims of terrorism but are not its supporter. We are an enemy of terrorism and this is the reason that we have been and still are opposed to Mr. Trump. He has been the ringleader of terrorist groups in recent years," the Iranian minister said.

He added that the US sanctions against Iran have been a form of revenge that is rooted in grudge, and have proved ineffective.

Iran's petroleum minister pointed to a new report about Trump's plan to impose a "flood" of new sanctions against Iran and said, "There is nothing left [for the US] to sanction. They have sanctioned whatever exists."

Zanganeh added that the only thing left for Washington to sanction is probably "our services section."

"Neither are we afraid of sanctions nor do they affect our work; they only strengthens our determination to serve our people," he emphasized.

Two Israeli sources told the Axios American news website that the administration of lame-duck President Trump, in coordination with Israel and other US allies in West Asia, is pushing a plan to slap a long string of new sanctions on Iran in the 10 weeks left until Democratic President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20.

The US, under Trump, unleashed a so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran in 2018, when it unilaterally left the 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between Iran and major world powers.

Following its withdrawal, Washington targeted the Iranian nation with the “toughest ever” economic sanctions in order to bring it to its knees, but the country’s economy keeps humming and is getting back on its feet.

In a post on his Twitter page on Sunday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the US policy of exerting "maximum pressure" on the Islamic Republic in order to force it into submission has failed along with all “charlatans behind it” while the Iranian nation still stands tall.

His tweet came on the same day that Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif advised the new administration in the United States to give up its predecessor’s “disastrous lawless bullying.”

Zarif said, “The American people have spoken. And the world is watching whether the new leaders will abandon disastrous lawless bullying of outgoing regime —and accept multilateralism, cooperation & respect for law.”

Source: Press TV


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