US solidifies sanctions against Iranian oil sector

US President Donald Trump’s administration slaps fresh sanctions on Iran’s oil sector, including over sales to Syria and Venezuela, reducing Joe Biden’s room to maneuver if he wins next week’s election.

The Trump administration since 2018 has imposed sweeping sanctions aimed at ending all of Iran’s key oil exports, punishing any country that buys oil from its adversary.

Under the new measures, the administration says it is designating the National Iranian Oil Company, Iran’s petroleum ministry, and the National Iranian Tanker Company under a counterterrorism authority, meaning that any future administration will need to take legal measures to reverse the finding.

The Treasury Department issues the sanctions by linking the three entities to the Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force — which has previously been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and others, and whose commander, Qassem Soleimani, was killed in a US attack at the Baghdad airport in January.

“The Iranian regime continues to prioritize its support for terrorist entities and its nuclear program over the needs of the Iranian people,” Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin says in a statement.