The U.S. Treasury Department implemented new sanctions on key parts of Iran’s oil industry Monday, according to a statement released by the Department.
The sanctions are in response to Iranian support for the Quds Force, according to the statement. The Quds Force is a paramilitary and espionage wing of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, per Reuters. The Quds Force was previously led by Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, who was killed by the United States in January.
Sanctioned entities include the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum, the National Iranian Oil Company, and the National Iranian Tanker Company, Reuters reported. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said “the regime in Iran uses the petroleum sector to fund the destabilizing activities of the IRGC-QF,” in the Treasury Department statement.
The Iranian regime pawns its oil to fund the destabilizing misadventures of the IRGC rather than improving conditions for its people. Today the U.S. is imposing major counterterrorism sanctions against Iranian energy institutions for providing support to the IRGC’s Qods Force.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) October 26, 2020
The Trump administration has continued to impose more and more sanctions on Iran since withdrawing from the JCPOA nuclear deal in 2018. Some allies have resisted American attempts to reinstate economic penalties on Iran, particularly at the U.N.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also said Monday that “the few remaining buyers of Iranian crude oil should know that they are helping to fund Iran’s malign activity across the Middle East, including its support for terrorism,” per Reuters.
The sanctions have had a meaningful effect on the Iranian economy, with oil exports down from over 2.5 million barrels per day since the U.S. withdrew from the JCPOA, Reuters reports. However, those exports reportedly rose substantially in September following a new round of U.S. sanctions, Reuters says.