Biden has promised a return to diplomacy with Iran after four hawkish years under Donald Trump, who withdrew from a denuclearization accord and slapped sweeping sanctions….reports Asian Lite News
Iran said Wednesday it would “automatically” return to its nuclear commitments if US President-elect Joe Biden lifts sanctions, as the outgoing administration doubled down with more pressure.Arab News Reports
Biden has promised a return to diplomacy with Iran after four hawkish years under Donald Trump, who withdrew from a denuclearization accord and slapped sweeping sanctions.
Tehran again meeting its commitments “can be done automatically and needs no conditions or even negotiations,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in comments published in the state-run Iran daily.
Zarif described Biden as a “foreign affairs veteran” whom he has known for 30 years. Once in the White House, Biden could “lift all of these (sanctions) with three executive orders,” Zarif argued.
If Biden’s administration does so, Iran’s return to nuclear commitments will be “quick,” the minister added.
The development comes after the US has imposed fresh sanctions against Iranian officials and a patronage network for the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in the latest action after Washington recently targeted the Islamic Republic’s oil and financial sectors, according to the Treasury Department.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed the sanctions against the Islamic Revolution Mostazafan Foundation, also known as Bonyad Mostazafan or the Foundation, which is an immense conglomerate of some 160 holdings in key sectors of Iran’s economy, including finance, energy, construction, and mining.
While Bonyad Mostazafan is “ostensibly a charitable organization charged with providing benefits to the poor and oppressed, its holdings are expropriated from the Iranian people and are used by Khamenei to enrich his office, reward his political allies, and persecute the regime’s enemies”, the statement said.
Presided over by former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) official Parviz Fattah, Bonyad Mostazafan was created in the wake of the Islamic Revolution to confiscate and manage property, according to the Treasury Department.
The Foundation has “since emerged as a source of power, wealth, and influence for the Supreme Leader and his inner circle”.
Besides the Foundation, the OFAC on Wednesday also designated Mahmoud Alavi, head of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), which has “played a key role in the Iranian regime’s brutal human rights abuses against the Iranian people”.
In similar moves, on October 8 the US designated 18 major banks of Iran, and a few days later on October 22, new sanctions were imposed on five Iranian entities for “attempting to influence” the November 3 American presidential election.
On October 27, the US imposed fresh sanctions against the Iranian oil sector, for its “financial support” to Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force.