19:03 GMT01 December 2020
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    Tensions between Tehran and Washington have soared since Donald Trump became president and withdrew the country from the nuclear deal with Iran. The latest move by the White House comes two weeks after Washington imposed sanctions that targeted the Islamic Republic’s oil sector, including the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum.

    The United States has imposed Iran-related sanctions on four individuals and six companies, according to a statement on the US Treasury Department’s website. The decision is another move in the Trump administration’s pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic.

    The development comes two days after the news website Axios reported that the Trump administration wants to drown Tehran in sanctions in order to make life difficult for Democrat Joe Biden, who is projected to win the presidential election.

    According to Axios, which cited two unnamed Israeli sources, the Trump administration plans to work with the Gulf states and Israel in order to make it harder for Joe Biden to return the United States to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement, which the US president has described as the worst deal ever negotiated. To achieve this, the White House plans to impose sanctions on Tehran non-stop until Trump’s last day in the Oval office (20 January).

    US special envoy for Iran Elliott Abrams voiced doubt that Joe Biden would be able to remove the sanctions imposed under Donald Trump.

    "Legally, it is correct that a president has the right to reverse any executive act that he took or that a previous president took. Whether it is advisable and politically possible is a different question”, Abrams said, adding that the US policy of maximum pressure on Tehran would continue in the coming months. “It’s unrelated to politics, it has nothing to do with the elections. It’s the foreign policy of the US".

    Trump vs Iran Nuclear Accord

    The JCPOA agreement, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, was negotiated under President Barack Obama. Under the accord, signed by the UK, China, Germany, Russia, the United States, and Iran in 2015, the Islamic Republic is to curb its nuclear programme and allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to visit its plants in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions and the arms embargo. The agreement was signed following years of tensions between Iran and the international community over claims that Tehran was trying to develop nuclear weapons, an allegation the country denied.

    In 2018, Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement. Without providing evidence, the US president accused Iran of violating the deal. His decision was strongly condemned by other signatories to the accord and Tehran. Back then, experts from the IAEA said the Islamic Republic was complying with the agreement.

     

    Tags:
    Trump Administration, oil, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran Nuclear Deal, sanctions, United States, Iran
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