Middle East

Iran to announce steps to scale back nuclear commitments

In this Jan. 13, 2015, file photo released by the Iranian President's Office, President Hassan Rouhani visits the Bushehr nuclear power plant just outside of Bushehr, Iran. Iran announced Sunday, July 7, 2019 it will raise its enrichment of uranium, breaking another limit of its faltering 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and further heightening tensions between Tehran and the U.S. (AP Photo/Iranian Presidency Office, Mohammad Berno, File)

DUBAI/WASHINGTON: Iran will announce "within hours" steps to further scale back its commitments to its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, the country's Arabic-language al-Alam TV reported Wednesday.

The report came after the United States sanctioned a sprawling network of firms, ships and individuals allegedly directed by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that supplied Syria with oil worth tens of millions of dollars.

The individuals included a former Iranian oil minister and his son, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement. Also hit were subsidiaries of an Indian firm with an interest in the Adrian Darya, the Iranian tanker that has been cruising the Mediterranean since its release from detention by authorities in Gibraltar in July, it said.

The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control action froze any assets in the United States of the designated entities and generally prohibited any U.S. citizens or companies from doing business with them.

The department said that the Qods Force, the IRGC's elite foreign paramilitary and espionage arm, and Hezbollah, profited financially by supplying Iranian oil and petroleum products, mostly to Syria, that this spring alone were worth more than $750 million.

"Treasury's action against this sprawling petroleum network makes it explicitly clear that those purchasing Iranian oil are directly supporting Iran's militants and terrorist arm, the IRGC-Qods Force," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.

Iranian officials appeared to give a guarded welcome to a French proposal to save the atomic pact by offering Iran about $15 billion in credit lines until the end of the year if Tehran comes fully back into compliance.

 

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