21:58 GMT +319 August 2019
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     The US Treasury Department

    US Imposes New Sanctions on Iran Amid Escalation

    CC BY 2.0 / Roman Boed / The US Treasury Department
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    Since pulling out of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, last May, the US has reinstated all sanctions against Tehran and introduced more.

    The US Treasury Department imposed on Friday new Iran-related sanctions, targeting the country's petrochemical sector that includes a petrochemical holding with a vast network of subsidiaries and sales agents.

    "The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action today against Iran’s largest and most profitable petrochemical holding group, Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (PGPIC)" the statement said. "In addition to PGPIC, OFAC is designating PGPIC’s vast network of 39 subsidiary petrochemical companies and foreign-based sales agents."

    The Treasury added that OFAC designated PGPIC over its alleged support for Khatam al-Anbiya Construction Headquarters, the economic arm of the IRGC.

    Tensions between Iran and the US have been running high since Washington withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal on 8 May 2018. Since then, the Trump administration has beefed up pressure on Tehran, having imposed tougher sanctions.

    READ MORE: US Sanctions on Iran, Russia Not Binding for India - Ex-Indian Envoy to UN

    Furthermore, US National Security Advisor John Bolton announced on May 5 that Washington was deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East to send a "clear and unmistakable message" to Iran that any attack on American interests or those of its allies would be met with "unrelenting force".

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